Deadline for outline proposals is 16:00 on 16 January 2020

The ESRC invites outline proposals for the second phase of its Governance after Brexit programme.

Brexit affects society, politics and the economy across the UK. The UK-EU exit negotiations have challenged the UK state, devolved political systems, local government, business organisations and trade unions, civil society organisations and the wider public. The primary aim of this call is to encourage proposals which adopt a long-term perspective and/or involve fundamental research into issues of governance, and the questions, problems and opportunities which lie behind and beyond the negotiations. Proposals to this call should address the priority areas outlined in the Call Specification either individually or in combination.

Proposals should address the call’s key research challenges and opportunities in an innovative and ambitious manner. This may include conceptual and theoretical innovation as well as the development of novel research methods and approaches. Potential innovation is an assessment criteria for this call and proposals which demonstrate a clear capacity for innovation are preferred over proposals which might seek to redeploy existing work in a Brexit context.

The robustness of proposals and potential to adapt to future Brexit developments is also an assessment criteria for this call. Applicants should therefore consider carefully the capacity of their project to respond flexibly to Brexit developments throughout both the commissioning process and the project duration if successful and articulate these plans clearly in their proposal.

Awards made under this phase of the programme will be expected to work closely with ESRC’s UK in a Changing Europe initiative (UKICE) to maximise the opportunities to disseminate this distinctive long-term research perspective on Brexit. Outline proposals to this call should therefore articulate clear plans for engaging with UKICE as part of their impact strategy.

Assessment process and Anonymous Case for Support

Please note that shortlisting at the Outline Stage for this call will be based entirely on the Case for Support document attached to outline proposals. This will be conducted on a double-blind basis where the identity of each party (applicants and panel members) are concealed from the other party. As a result the Case for Support for outline proposals must be sufficiently anonymised in order to avoid directly or indirectly revealing the identity of the project team to assessors. Names of individual researchers or specific research organisations should therefore not be included. References to previous work should also be conveyed in terms which do not risk identifying the applicants to assessors. Where this attachment is deemed insufficiently anonymous proposals may be considered ineligible for processing.

Shortlisted applications will subsequently be invited to submit full proposals for further assessment.

Frequently asked questions

A list of answers to frequently asked questions about the call can be found below. This includes summary answers from the online webinar and Q&A hosted by ESRC and Professor Dan Wincott, Cardiff University on Monday 9 December 2019. This FAQ document may be updated further before the call closing date with additional questions and answers as these are received.

How to apply

All proposals must be submitted through UKRI’s Joint Electronic Submission system (Je-S) ( Detailed information about how to apply is provided in the Je-S guidance below.

Outline proposals should be between £300,000 and £750,000 at 100 per cent Full Economic Cost (fEC) and should start from 1 November 2020 for a maximum period of 36 months. The ESRC will meet 80 per cent of the full economic costs of proposals that are funded under this call. All outline proposals for this programme must be received by 16:00 on 16 January 2020.

Call documents

Commissioning timetable

  • Closing date for outline proposals – 16:00 on 16 January 2020
  • Shortlisting Panel meeting – February 2020
  • Full proposals invited – early March 2020
  • Closing date for full proposals – mid April 2020
  • Assessment period – May-June 2020
  • Commissioning Panel meeting – July 2020 
  • Final decisions – August 2020
  • Grants to start – 1 November 2020