The ESRC is pleased to invite outline applications for large collaborative grants on Innovation in Social Care. 

Through this call, we will fund social science-led research and knowledge exchange activity to understand how, why and where innovation happens in social care, to best understand how to improve people’s lives. Each grant should be highly collaborative involving a range of disciplines and stakeholders throughout the research process. We take a deliberately broad definition of innovation including systems, practices, organisations, processes, products and funding. 

Proposals should reflect the reality of how social care is experienced by care recipients and providers, their friends and families, and care professionals, as well as exploring the relationships between those involved. Applicants should explain how the proposed research and knowledge exchange activity will enable the uptake, spread and adoption of change in social care to deliver improved individual and system outcomes, covering patient, carer and staff outcomes and experience as well as robust evidence of cost-benefit both within organisations/ sectors and between different parts of the system.  

Grants are expected to be between £1 million and £2 million (at 100% full economic cost), with a duration of up to 60 months. Grants should start on 1 September 2019 or later.

How to apply

Outline proposals should be made via the Joint Electronic Submission (Je-S) System and submitted by no later than 16:00 on 16 October 2018. They must be costed and approved by the relevant research organisation before submission. Following shortlisting, applicants of successful outline proposals will be invited to submit full proposals through the Je-S System. 


  • Deadline to submit outline proposals16:00 on 16 October 2018
  • Shortlisted applicants invited to submit full proposals – late December 2018
  • Deadline to submit invited full proposals – February 2019
  • Deadline for applicant’s response to reviewer comments – April 2019
  • Funding decisions announced – June 2019
  • Grants start – 1 September 2019

Call documents