Each year we receive and evaluate around 1,500 applications for funding from a wide range of research organisations. The outcomes of our decision processes are a rich source of information, useful to ESRC, applicants and research organisations.
What we share
We make available data on the number of applications submitted by, and awards made to, each research organisation each financial year. We also include information on applications and awards based on ESRC disciplinary classifications over the same period. We do not share information on outcomes for individual applicants.
When we share it
We will report application and award data, and analyses of them, for full financial years (1 April – 31 March) by the middle of the calendar year following the end of the financial year. The most recent data set is below.
- Application and success rate data (2011-12 to 2017-18) (ODS, 365Kb) (published May 2018)
Detailed funding decisions are reported within a few weeks of the completion of the competition.
What it tells us
Application and award data contain useful information on demand, success rates and organisational or disciplinary behaviour.
For an overall summary, read our:
- Application and success rate analysis (PDF, 193Kb) (published May 2018)
The key findings from the latest analysis are:
- ESRC grant decision volumes dropped substantially between 2016-17 and 2017-18, with fewer than 1000 funding decisions being made last year.
- A general increase in the average grant size and a continued increase in the proportion of decisions that related to the Open Call meant that, despite the reduced volume of proposals, there was only a small increase in the overall ESRC success rate, which was 26% by number.
- There continues to be a positive association between decision volume and success rate for applicant organisations but not for disciplines.
- Few research organisations have notably high success rates, and none has a particularly low rate. This is especially true for responsive funding, where no one stands out.
- The median ESRC grant size in 2017-18 was more than three times the median ESRC grant size in 2011-12, even adjusting for inflation.
We have also published analysis on:
- Success rate distributions (PDF, 128Kb) (published April 2017)
- Fundability and success (PDF, 301Kb) (the factors that influence success rates) (published April 2017)
- Applicants to ESRC (PDF, 425Kb) (the size of the applicant population) (published July 2017)
- Funding distribution (PDF, 128Kb) (published July 2017)
- Funding concentration (PDF, 174Kb) (published July 2017)
- What to apply for (PDF, 166Kb) (published August 2017)
- The relationship between decision volume and success rates (PDF, 236Kb) (published November 2017)
- Multidisciplinarity on ESRC grants (PDF, 247Kb) (published January 2018)
- ESRC regional spending (PDF, 673Kb) (published April 2018)
- Connectivity enabled by ESRC funding (PDF, 389Kb) (published August 2018)
- CWTS Leiden data analysis 2018 (PDF, 562Kb) (published August 2018)