The Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC), part of UK Research and Innovation (UKRI), and the Health Foundation are co-funding a UK Centre which will lead the way for better implementation of high-quality research evidence in adult social care.

Recognising the synergy between good evidence and good practice, the Centre will bring together adult social care staff, people with lived experience of adult social care, experts in the mobilisation and implementation of research evidence, social care providers, commissioners and policy experts, and academic teams from across the UK.

We are seeking to appoint an experienced Centre Director and leadership team, who will lead the co-development, implementation and delivery of the Centre.

The Centre will comprise three consecutive phases, each led by the Centre Director and leadership team:

  1. Six-month co-development phase (October 2020 to March 2021).
  2. Establishment phase of 12 months (April 2021 to March 2022).
  3. Five-year delivery phase (April 2022 to March 2027).


The funders’ contribution to the three phases of the Centre is a maximum of £15 million for a total duration of 78 months.

The purpose of this call is to appoint the Director and leadership team for the Centre and award the grant for the six-month co-development phase. Proposals should state the 100% full Economic Costs of the co-development phase and the funders will meet 65% of these costs (unless there are justified exceptions paid at 100%).

A joint funder contribution of £248,000 is available for the six-month co-development phase. This is the maximum amount that the funders will jointly pay towards 65% of the eligible costs and exceptions paid at 100%.

Information and networking events

To support the commissioning of the Centre, the Health Foundation and ESRC will be running a series of engagement workshops. The events will bring together potential applicants to discuss the initiative with representatives from the Health Foundation and ESRC, to explore some of the challenges we are aiming to address and to build the necessary networks and partnerships needed to develop the Centre and achieves its aims.

The format of the events will be a combination of talks, open discussion with Q&A and a networking opportunity. Potential applicants are strongly advised to attend one of the events. The events are happening in London on 6 November 2019 and in Edinburgh on 12 November 2019. Details and registration for the London event can be found here and for the Edinburgh event here. Registration closes on 30 October 2019.

For those unable to attend the workshops on these dates, we will hold a webinar for potential applicants on 14 November at 13:00, which will last approximately an hour. Spaces will be limited, so we encourage you to register your interest early to avoid disappointment. Registration for the webinar will close on 7 November 2019.


The call is open to applicants from across the UK. The Centre Director (principal investigator) must be based at a research organisation eligible for research council funding ( Applicant organisations must be registered on the UKRI’s Joint Electronic Submission (Je-S) System (

Public Sector Research Establishments (PSREs) are eligible to apply for this call. If PSREs wishing to apply have not previously applied for UKRI funding and are not currently designated IRO status they will be required to complete an eligibility form to ensure they have the required research capacity, systems and controls in place to manage the research and grant funding. PSRE applicants should contact ESRC at the earliest opportunity to discuss their interests in applying. Please ensure sufficient time to create Je-S accounts for Investigators who do not currently have one.

Application process

Please complete an Intention to Submit summarising the people and partners to be involved in the proposal and how the aims of the call will be addressed. It is not a requirement to provide an Intention to Submit in order to apply to this call, but you are strongly encouraged to complete this. The Intention to Submit has been designed to support you with the development of your proposal and we will provide feedback to applicants on eligibility and fit to call where appropriate. An intention to submit (ItS) should be submitted via web form by no later than 16:00 on 22 November 2019.

Full proposals should be made via the UK Research and Innovation Joint Electronic Submission (Je-S) System ( and submitted to the ESRC by no later than 16:00 on 29 January 2020.

Assessment process

The Director and leadership team will be appointed through a commissioning process which will include peer review and an expert Commissioning Panel. The panel membership and peer review will include a range of relevant expertise and research disciplines, sector stakeholders and people with lived experience of social care. Anonymised reviewer comments will be sent to applicants for written response, before consideration by the panel.

If your proposal is shortlisted by the Commissioning Panel you will be invited for interview on 3 June 2020 by members of the Panel. Following the interview, the Panel will make a funding recommendation to the Management Board and funders, who will make the final funding decision.


  • Full guidance published – 29 October 2019
  • Intention to submit deadline – 22 November 2019
  • Deadline to submit proposals – 29 January 2020
  • Deadline for applicant’s response to reviewer comments – 25 March 2020
  • Interviews – 3 June 2020
  • Funding decisions announced – July 2020
  • Grants start – October 2020

Call documents

Link to Intention to Submit online form