The Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) and Irish Research Council (IRC) are launching a networking grants opportunity aimed at fostering the development of long-term relationships between social science researchers in the UK and Republic of Ireland.

Scope and Focus
Current political and economic uncertainty are prominent issues affecting the future relationship of the UK and Ireland. As such, the social sciences have been identified as an important area for collaboration between ESRC and IRC and applications are welcomed from the breadth of the social science community.

The intention is that the networking activities supported through these grants will enable new relationships between UK and Irish researchers to be formed; for existing relationships to be strengthened; and for the overall level of connection between the UK and Irish Social Science communities to be enhanced. As such, there are no thematic restrictions within this call.

In the spirit of genuine collaboration, project leadership will be shared between Co-Principal Investigators. Co-Principal Investigators must comprise of one academic based in the UK and one academic based in Ireland. Co-PI’s will share intellectual ownership of the project and be responsible for management of networking activities for their national team.


Budget and Grant sizes
Funding of up to £20,000 (at 100% non‑standard fEC) will be available per networking grant application. Of this, up to £10,000 will be funded by ESRC to cover the UK component of the project and up to £10,000 (euro equivalent) will be funded by IRC for the Irish component.  Up to 10 awards are expected to be funded, which will run for 12 months and will generally commence by late summer 2020.

Process and Timetable
Full details of the commissioning process will be provided in the call specification. An outline timeline is presented below:

  • Call launch – February 2020
  • Deadline for submission of proposals – late April 2020
  • Final funding Decisions - July 2020
  • Projects commence from – August 2020