The Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) intends to announce a call for proposals for a Social Science Hub+ as part of the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund Digital Security by Design challenge.

A call for outline proposals is expected to officially open in the week commencing 15 October and to close on 20 November. Shortlisted bidders will be invited to submit full proposals in early 2020 with a final funding decision due in early summer 2020. The Hub+ award is expected to start 1 September 2020. Outline applications will be assessed by a commissioning panel, with full proposals subject to external peer review prior to final assessment by the commissioning panel who will make funding recommendations to the ESRC.

Digital Security by Design Social Science Hub+

The Digital Security by Design Challenge, supported through the UK Government’s Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund (ISCF), aims to overcome existing market failures and radically update the foundation of the insecure digital computing infrastructure that currently underpins the global economy.

ESRC, on behalf of the UKRI ISCF are inviting applications from small teams to lead a social sciences-focused Hub+. The Hub+ is expected to develop a multidisciplinary network of academics and stakeholders, to investigate what it means to be secure and the commercial challenges of moving beyond the current security paradigms. It will have a devolved small project research budget to fund commercially-focused social science research on barriers to adoption.

Funding available of up to £3 million is available (80% FEC UKRI contribution for the main hub, and 100% FEC for the devolved research budget), to end by March 2024.

The scope of the broader challenge includes implementation, verification and proof of an updated hardware architecture, development of the software and system development tools that will run on it, and demonstration in at least two industry domains. See more information on the Digital Security by Design Social Science Hub+, while a related call focusing on the technical challenges was issued by EPSRC: ISCF Digital Security by Design Research Projects.

This information provided in good faith to help researchers and stakeholders to respond to this funding opportunity, but may however be subject to change.

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