A very small number of centres of strategic importance that have been persistently funded by ESRC over a long period will also be separately invited to apply for a new ESRC 'research institute' status (PDF, 60Kb) with enduring funding in recognition of their exceptional status.

To be eligible for research institute status a centre must have demonstrated its enduring quality and strategic relevance by successfully competing in a minimum of three ESRC open centre competitions and ESRC continuous funding. 

Centres eligible to apply for institute status will be invited by the ESRC to apply at mid-term (in their third year), in their third round of centres competition funding. Once approved for this status the institute would be funded through a rolling grant model (reviewed every five years). The expectation is that the host research organisation will also make a significant contribution to the long-term future of the institute.

Global centres of excellence awarded institute status

In April 2018 we recognised global centres of excellence with official ESRC research institute status. The move acknowledges those centres which have demonstrated sustained strategic value to ESRC, as well as to the broader social science research landscape, with long-term, five-year funding.

Launched as the first ESRC research institutes were the Centre for the Microeconomic Analysis of Public Policy (CPP) and the Centre for Economic Performance (CEP).