If you have an excellent idea for a research project, the best way to seek funding for it is through our Research Grants open call. Awards ranging from £350,000 to £1 million (100% full Economic Cost (fEC)) can be made to eligible institutions to enable individuals or research teams to undertake anything from a standard research project through to a large-scale survey and other infrastructure or methodological development.
There is considerable flexibility when it comes to subject area, too. As long as you always make sure that your suggested topic falls within ESRC's remit, you are free to concentrate on any research area. Proposals can draw from the wider sciences, but the social sciences must represent more than 50 per cent of the research focus and effort. Please see the Call Specification and scheme specific Je-S Guidance below for more details of what can be applied for under this call.
You can submit proposals to this call at any time - there are no fixed closing dates. We aim to announce the majority of decisions within 26 weeks of receiving the proposal although we cannot guarantee this, since it is dependent on receiving sufficient good quality peer review comments within the necessary timescale. Please see the FAQs for further details. You must apply using the Joint Electronic Submission System (Je-S).
The content and quality of the application you submit will determine whether or not you are successful. Therefore it is vital that you have a full understanding of what is required, as well as knowing the various stages of the application process, so that you maximise your chances of gaining an award. We offer guidance on how to write a good application.
International collaboration and funding
We welcome the inclusion of international co-investigators on ESRC proposals.
We also have bilateral agreements with funding agencies in several countries.
Changes to Pathways to Impact requirements
UK Research and Innovation has announced changes to requirements on ‘Pathways to Impact’. Applicants will no longer be required to provide a ‘Pathways to Impact’ plan or complete an ‘Impact Summary’ within all grant proposals from 1 March 2020.
The Je-S form for the ESRC Research Grants (Open Call) will be updated between 24 and 29 February 2020 to remove the ‘Pathways to Impact’ plan and ‘Impact Summary’ ahead of 1 March 2020. ESRC recommends applicants avoid submitting proposals to Research Grants (Open Call) during this update period.