£15 million has been awarded to 16 teams of researchers to allow academics in Europe and Japan to collaborate on a range of exciting projects that will push the boundaries of our understanding of individual and social behaviour with a view to influencing policymaking and practice.

The funding has come from the Open Research Area for the Social Sciences (ORA); a scheme collaboratively delivered by the national funding organisations of France, Germany and the Netherlands, as well the Economic and Social Research Council, representing the UK. ORA is a well-established scheme that aims to strengthen international cooperation in the social sciences by minimising bureaucratic obstacles and restrictions that are usually associated with international funding. The four ORA agencies were pleased to associate with the Japanese Society for the Promotion of Science, as in the previous round, which has enabled Japanese researchers to participate in complementary projects alongside ORA-funded proposals. Three projects involving Japanese collaborations will be funded.

Jeremy Neathey, Deputy Director for Research and International at ESRC said: "I am delighted that ESRC is involved in the fifth round of funding from the Open Research Area. This is an opportunity to bring together the best researchers from across Europe, driving forward high quality, fundamental research and generating new evidence on some of the most complex challenges facing society."

These projects bring innovation to UK’s economy and involve researchers from across the country whose work can contribute towards building prosperous communities. Projects such as 'How are varying care systems associated with inequalities in care and wellbeing in later life?' feed into the Grand Challenges of the Industrial Strategy and its bid to harness innovation to meet the needs of an ageing society.

This was the fifth ORA open call since the scheme was introduced in 2010. A positive programme evaluation undertaken in 2016 recommended that the scheme should continue with some amendments, including implementing a two-stage procedure. Applicants were asked to submit outline applications. These were then assessed by an expert panel. The highest quality applications were then invited to submit a full proposal. 63 project teams were invited to submit to the second stage. These proposals underwent a peer review process and were then assessed by a panel of international academics experts.

The following 16 projects will be funded for up to three years:

  • Ambiguity in dynamic environments
    Sujoy Mukerji, Queen Mary University of London (GB); Frank Riedel, Bielefeld University (D); Jean-Marc Tallon, Paris School of Economics (F); Atsushi Kajii, Kyoto University (JP) (JSPS associate partner)
    Discipline: Economic Theory
  • Climate adaptation policy lock-ins: a 3 x 3 approach
    Dave Huitema, Open University of the Netherlands (NL); Bernd Siebenhüner, Carl von Ossietzky University Oldenburg (D); John Turnpenny, University of East Anglia (GB)
    Disciplines: Political Science, Geography
  • Determinants of 'mobilisation' at home and abroad: Analysing the micro-foundations of out-migration and mass protest
    Olga Onuch, University of Manchester (GB); Gwendolyn Sasse, Centre for East European and International Studies (D); Jacquelien van Stekelenburg, Free University Amsterdam (NL); Sorana Toma, Université Paris Saclay (F)
    Disciplines: Political Science, Empirical Social Research
  • Facilitating self-regulated learning with personalised scaffolds on student's own regulation activities
    Maria Bannert, Technical University Munich (D); Dragan Gasevic, University of Edinburgh (GB); Inge Molenaar, Radboud University Nijmegen (NL)
    Disciplines: Education, Psychology, Computer Science
  • Hidden brain states underlying efficient representations in working memory
    Elkan Akyurek, University of Groningen (NL); Nikolai Axmacher, Ruhr-University Bochum (D); Mark Stokes, University of Oxford (GB)
    Discipline: Cognitive Neuroscience
  • How are varying care systems associated with inequalities in care and wellbeing in later life?
    Martina Brandt, Technical University Dortmund (D); Marjolein Broese van Groenou, Free University Amsterdam (NL); Karen Glaser, King’s College London (GB); Yoko Ibuka (JP) (JSPS associate partner)
    Discipline: Empirical Social Research
  • Oversight and intelligence networks: Who guards the guardians?
    Leonie Ansems de Vries, King’s College London (GB); Claudia Aradau, King’s College London (GB); Marie-Laure Basilien-Gainche, Université de Lyon III (Jean Moulin) (F); Didier Bigo, Sciences Po (F); Jeanette Hofmann, Berlin Social Science Center (D); Thorsten Wetzling, Stiftung Neue Verantwortung (D)
    Disciplines: Political Science, Sociological Theory, Empirical Social Research, Public Law
  • Production and perception of expressions of emotions in humans and their closest relatives
    Zanna Clai, Durham University (GB); Mariska Kret, University of Leiden (NL)
    Discipline: Psychology
  • Staying in the rural: Contemporary life couse related senses of belonging, mobility and rural community participation
    Tialda Haartsen, University of Groningen (NL); Annett Steinführer, Thünen Institute (D); Aileen Stockdale, Queen’s University Belfast (GB)
    Discipline: Geography
  • Stress effects on memory accuracy versus generalisation: Testing a new model based on influencing the temporal dynamics of memory consolidation
    Benno Roozendaal, Radboud University Nijmegen (NL); Oliver Tobias Wolf, Ruhr-University Bochum (D)
    Discipline: Psychology
  • The active observer
    Eli Brenner, Free University Amsterdam (NL); Katja Fiehler, Justus-Liebig-University Gießen (D); Simon Rushton, Cardiff University (GB) 
    Discipline: Psychology
  • The development of inequalities in child educational achievement: a six country study
    Renske Keizer, Erasmus University Rotterdam (NL); Thorsten Schneider, University Leipzig (D); Anne Solaz, Institut National d’Étude Démographique (F); Elizabeth Washbrook, University of Bristol (GB); Sabine Weinert, Otto-Friedrich-University Bamberg (D); Hideo Akabayashi, Keio University (JP) (JSPS associate partner)
    Discipline: Empirical Social Research
  • The nature of political representation in times of dealignment
    Rosie Campbell, Birbeck University of London (GB); Tom Louwerse, Leiden University (NL); Thomas Zittel, Goethe-University Frankfurt (D)
    Discipline: Political Science
  • Towards realistic computational models of social influence dynamics
    Klaus Boehnke, Jacobs University Bremen (D); Guillaume Deffuant, Irstea (F); Bruce Edmonds, Manchester Metropolitan University (GB); Andreas Flache, University of Groningen (NL)
    Disciplines: Empirical Social Research, Psychology, Political Science
  • What is governed in cities: Residential investment landscapes and the governance and regulation of housing production
    Patrick Le Gales, Centre d’Études Européennes (F); Michele Raco, University College London (GB); Tuna Tasan Kok, University of Amsterdam (NL)
    Disciplines: Spatial Planning, Geography, Political Science
  • Work hard, play hard: Neuropsychological correlates and behavioral implications of hedonic compensation
    Lotte van Dillen, Leiden University (NL); Wilhelm Hofman, Cologne University (D); Henk van Steenbergen, Leiden University (NL)
    Discipline: Psychology