The ESRC centres competition is the flagship funding for ESRC centres. Where budget allocations allow we aim to run periodic centres competitions, typically every two years, to fund a limited number of centre proposals ranging from £2.5-10 million (100% full economic cost) for a term of up to five years. ESRC will meet 80% of the full economic cost (fEC) on proposals submitted; standard funding rules will apply. 

Centres competitions require evidence of long-term institutional commitment to the centre, including additional financial resources from the research organisation to extend the work programme beyond the 100% fEC funding requested. For the sake of transparency we ask for a minimum 5% over and above 100% fEC. Excellence of the proposal will remain the overriding criterion for funding.

All ESRC centres designated as such at the time of a call announcement are entitled to apply to a centres competition, regardless of other applications from the same research organisation (restricted to one competition during a period of transition funding). This allowance will enable successful centres to build eligibility to apply for Institute status should they be persistently successful.

The Centres Competition 2018 was the latest competition to be held.