Our Research Funding Guide provides further information on the type of funding opportunities we offer and eligibility for funding.

Eligibility details for individual schemes and calls are provided in our funding opportunities. Only UK Higher Education institutions are eligible to receive funding for research. The ESRC does invite UK Principal Investigators (PIs) to include international co-investigators from anywhere in the world on proposals to the majority of research funding schemes, excluding fellowships and unless stated otherwise by the scheme guidance.

If you are interested in postgraduate funding, please see our studentships information.

The ESRC does not directly provide funds for postgraduate students. If you wish to apply for postgraduate funding you should apply directly to a Doctoral Training Partnership.

What to do if you are unsure whether your research is suitable for funding

If you are unsure whether your research is suitable for ESRC funding, please complete the remit query form.

You don't need to provide detailed background information, references or costs relating to your research within the form. It is more helpful to explain clearly the research challenges, social science methodologies, outputs and beneficiaries of your proposed research.

For further information about ESRC's scientific remit, please refer to our discipline classifications.

Interfaces between research councils

We advise you to contact us prior to submission if you are working at an interface area between research councils. We are in regular contact with other research councils to ensure that applications are assessed by those with the most appropriate expertise.

Cross-council funding is available where successful applications cross the remit of two or more research councils. If you feel that your project might fall into this category, please contact the research council which you consider the most relevant for advice.

Our joint statement with the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) relating to the interfaces between the arts and humanities and the social sciences may be useful before contacting either AHRC or ESRC with a remit query.

The cross council funding agreement (CCFA)

The cross council funding agreement applies to all responsive mode research grant proposals submitted to any of the seven research councils.

In the case of proposals submitted to ESRC that we believe extend into other council's remits, we will discuss the proposal with colleagues in the relevant research councils. We will agree which council should take the lead in processing the proposal and making the award if successful. Other councils will nominate reviewers and, if appropriate, may contribute funding.

Can I resubmit a proposal to another research council?

Proposals considered under the cross council funding agreement will be subject to the approaches to demand management being developed across the Research Councils to avoid unnecessary demands on the peer review system. More specifically:

  • once accepted for processing by a lead council under the protocol, a proposal may not be withdrawn for submission to another council unless permission to do so has been given by the councils concerned
  • the lead council’s policies on resubmissions will apply to any unsuccessful proposals
  • proposals previously considered by another council may not be resubmitted to another council unless substantial changes are made which might affect the most appropriate council to lead the proposal; in such cases the prior submission to another council must be declared and the changes made summarised in an accompanying statement.

Councils may reject resubmitted proposals if these requirements are not met.


If you have any other queries about remit, please contact esrcremit@esrc.ukri.org