James Canton

James Canton is Deputy Director for Public Policy and Engagement.

James joined the ESRC in October 2020 to lead work that aims to better connect research capability and evidence with policy issues, challenges and questions. This includes overseeing ESRC’s What Works investments and government fellowship activities. The role involves collaborating with public policy stakeholders and the economic and social science community to ensure that research and public policy align with and inform one another.

Prior to joining ESRC James was a Senior Strategic Resilience Adviser at the Ministry for Housing Communities and Local Government, where he led strategic engagement with senior policy makers at a local level, led work on national security risk assessment and coordinated efforts to create a data ecosystem to inform government emergency response for the coronavirus pandemic. James has also worked as Principal Research Officer at the Department for Transport where he led work to embed social science analysis within transport investment business cases and led research on the social and behavioural implications of future transport technologies. James started his career as a research consultant at Kantar where his focus was marketing science and business innovations.

James holds a PhD in Public Policy from the University of Bath, a Master of Research degree and an undergraduate degree in social science