The Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) funds a portfolio of data infrastructures which has developed since the inception of the Council. These infrastructures include data collections and services which are used for public benefit by academic researchers in social and interdisciplinary sciences, by governments at all levels, and by the third sector.

ESRC now intends to refine its approach to funding and managing data infrastructures and to launch a new Data Infrastructure Strategy in 2022. This will guide the future development of ESRC’s investment in data infrastructure. Amongst other adaptations, it will:

  • set out guiding principles for ESRC’s decision making in relation to new and existing investments
  • create aligned objectives to maximise collaboration, integration, innovation and user-focussed services
  • support more flexible responses to new funding opportunities and changing priorities
  • define a clear impact strategy supported by effective communications and engagement.

Engagement exercise

In summer 2021, ESRC is running an engagement exercise to gather feedback that will inform the development of the Data Infrastructure Strategy.

The engagement exercise will do this by presenting an outline of the purpose and content of the Data Infrastructure Strategy. We welcome responses which help us establish the priorities, challenges, constraints and opportunities which could impact the development and delivery of the strategy.

The engagement document is available below and contains questions on which we invite a response.

Engagement exercise documents

How to respond to the engagement exercise

Please respond to the questions posed in the engagement document. These questions are compiled into a single question set document (see above). We welcome other comments and suggestions.

Responses should be sent to by 17 September 2021.

We are not able to respond to individual responses received. An update on the Data Infrastructure Strategy, including how engagement exercise responses were used, will be published on this webpage later in the year.