This call has now closed. The following is for information only.

As part of our contribution to the UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) Partnership for Conflict, Crime and Security Research (PaCCS), we would like to commission up to four research grants that will deepen and broaden our understanding of the complex issues related to Transnational Organised Crime (TNOC) and its interrelation with other licit and illicit activities.

The key questions this call poses are: 

  • Which factors enable and facilitate TNOC, and how is this evolving?
  • Which factors disrupt and impede TNOC? 
  • How do societal and cultural values shape TNOC, and conversely how does TNOC shape social and economic structures and cultures, deliberately or otherwise?

These grants are intended to generate innovative approaches and we encourage the submission of proposals which take a range of approaches and research perspectives. These approaches may include work which brings together, compares or reinterprets diverse literatures and/or data, capacity-building activities, exploratory and pilot studies, as well as conceptual and methodological development.  

Cross-disciplinary research projects are welcome, in particular proposals which span the remits of the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) or the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC). However, applicants must demonstrate that their proposed approach is grounded in the social sciences and suitable for ESRC funding

Proposals are invited for grants between £200,000 and £450,000 (100% fEC (full economic costs)) of which the ESRC will fund 80% and the balance must be guaranteed by the research organisation. Projects can be up to 36 months in duration and must commence between 1 November 2018 and 1 January 2019.

The deadline for proposals is 16:00 on 14 June 2018


The call seeks to encourage co-design and co-production of knowledge with policymakers and practitioners, and engagement between researchers and users of research in the public and private sectors and civil society. All projects are strongly encouraged to involve non-academic stakeholders in the design, implementation and dissemination of the proposed research. The TNOC Research Integrator, Dr Tristram Riley-Smith (, is available to speak to prospective applicants about such collaborations.

The research integrator is building a database of researchers and non-academic stakeholders who are open to collaborate in this call: you can register to appear on this database.

Because of the international nature of organised crime and its interactions with issues such as international development, collaborations with researchers and stakeholders beyond the UK are encouraged.

Call documents

Key dates

  • Call opens - 5 April 2018
  • Call closes - 16:00 on 14 June 2018
  • Peer Review - July 2018
  • PI response to reviewer comments - early August 2018
  • Commissioning Panel meeting - September 2018
  • Decisions to applicants - late September 2018
  • Grants commence - 1 November 2018 to 1 January 2019