Please read these guidelines before you apply for funding and check whether you need to apply via your university or Impact Acceleration Account.

Events must:

  • be held during the ESRC Festival of Social Science (2-9 November 2019)
  • fit with the aims and objectives of the Festival
  • feature social science (ideally with a social scientist involved in the event)
  • be free to attend
  • not be aimed primarily at academic audiences.

We aim to have a wide geographical spread of events across the UK, as well as many types of activities. Examples of previous events include:

  • film screenings
  • virtual activities
  • hands-on activities
  • debates
  • outdoor events
  • seminars
  • workshops
  • exhibitions.

Applicants can apply for up to £1,000 of sponsorship funding. Past event holders have included:

  • ESRC-funded grant holders, postgraduate students and those working in ESRC funded investments
  • non ESRC-funded social scientists
  • museums, science centres and tourist sites
  • youth organisations and schools
  • local authorities and other government bodies
  • social science organisations.

Applicants are welcome to apply for sponsorship for more than one event, although a separate application form must be submitted for each event.

Applicants must be resident in the UK.

You are advised to look at: 

Applications will be judged against the following criteria:

  • consistency with the Festival's strategic objectives and aims
  • awareness of public concerns and topical relevancy
  • targeting of specific audiences, particularly the public and young people
  • an effort to reach groups outside the Greater London area
  • innovative and interactive events
  • realistic costing estimates and value for money
  • the event must fall within the Festival week

To receive sponsorship for an event targeted at young people, school or college students you must be able to demonstrate sufficient interest from the school, college or youth organisation at the time of application. Failure to provide confirmation of support from the organisation may delay your application or result in the withdrawal of a funding offer.

Please note any decision on funding by the review panel is final.


  • You may apply for up to £1,000 (inclusive of VAT)
  • Costs must be non-FEC
  • Staff costs cannot be included
  • Travel costs for international speakers or participants may be covered in exceptional circumstances. Justification for this must be clear in the event summary outline.
  • Accommodation costs will only be covered in exceptional circumstances
  • The cost of food, such as required for an all-day event. The cost of tea/coffee/juice and biscuits can be covered for half-day events. Justification for the cost of food items must be made clear in the event summary outline.
  • Alcoholic drinks cannot be funded from an ESRC Festival grant. Applicants are welcome to obtain additional external support for food and alcoholic drinks, but must highlight this during the event.
  • We have broken down the costs into four sections. Please ensure that you clearly detail the costs for your event.
  • We are unable to fund goody bags or giveaways (for example pens and notepads).