Funding opportunity

Funding opportunity: ESRC centres transition funding (invite only)

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ESRC centres transition funding provides follow-on funding for centres coming to the end of their ESRC centre funding. It provides funding for an additional three to five years to assist centres in maximising the impact and use of their research activities, and in working towards self-sustainability.

The centre can request from the ESRC up to 25% of the full economic cost (FEC) of the ESRC centre grant that is coming to an end. The research organisation (RO) will also be required to contribute to the centre through a contribution that is equal to or exceeds the full economic costs (100% FEC) of the ESRC transition funding request.

ESRC will fund 80% of the FEC.

Who can apply

This is an invite-only opportunity. Current full ESRC centres are eligible to apply if they have been invited to do so during the final year of their full-stage funding.

UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) has introduced new role types for funding opportunities being run on the new UKRI Funding Service.

For full details, visit Eligibility as an individual.

Business, third sector or government body project co-leads

Business, third sector or government body project co-leads based in the UK can also be included on research grant proposals as a project co-lead. Read Including project co-leads from business, third sector or government bodies for details of eligible organisations and costs.

Equality, diversity and inclusion

We are committed to achieving equality of opportunity for all funding applicants. We encourage applications from a diverse range of researchers.

We support people to work in a way that suits their personal circumstances. This includes:

  • career breaks
  • support for people with caring responsibilities
  • flexible working
  • alternative working patterns

Find out more about equality, diversity and inclusion at UKRI.

Remit

Complete and submit the remit query form, if you are unsure whether your proposed research falls within the remit of ESRC .

What we're looking for

Aim

The aims of the ESRC centres transition funding are to assist centres in maximising the impact and use of their research activities, methods and data developments to date and in working towards self-sustainability. While activities to maximise the impact of the investment to date should be a significant element of the proposed activities, it is intended that the funding also allows considerable flexibility for centre directors to shape a programme of work to suit the proposed direction of the centre.

Centre transition funding is also designed to reflect the mutual benefits, to the ESRC and the centre’s host research organisations (ROs), of supporting these high-profile and high-impact centres of excellence over a longer period. It is intended that this additional period of ESRC funding, while at a reduced level, will support the centre in securing the strategic and financial commitment of their RO, by requiring a minimum commitment from the RO.

Together the ESRC and RO contributions will ‘co-fund’ the full economic costs of the centre, establishing a new relationship between the ESRC and the RO in supporting the development of a sustainable funding model for the centre.

It is intended that this support could help centres leverage further funding from other sources, over and above the minimum RO commitment, to support them in establishing a sustainable funding model for the longer term, should they wish to pursue and develop their research activities further.

Scope

It is an essential requirement that your primary research area is in the social sciences. We strongly encourage interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary working both within and beyond the social sciences, as long as at least 50% of the proposed programme of research is within ESRC remit. Please refer to the list of research areas that fall within ESRC remit for further information.

Capacity Building and Career Development

We will be looking for evidence of a strong commitment to supporting the development of researchers at all stages of their career and capacity-building. ESRC encourages transition centre proposals to consider the opportunities for career development for all proposed researchers – at all stages of their career – and encourages the participation of Early Career Researchers in the transition funding application as project co-leads.

Duration

The duration of this award is a minimum of 36 months and a maximum of 60 months.

Funding available

The centre can request from the ESRC up to 25% of the full economic costs (FEC) of the ESRC centre grant that is coming to an end. The exact maximum amount that can be claimed from the ESRC will be confirmed by us on invitation to apply. The request to ESRC (at 100% FEC) cannot exceed the maximum amount stated.

The lead RO will also be required to demonstrate their strategic commitment to the centre through a minimum contribution that equates to, or exceeds, the full economic costs (that is 100% FEC) of the request to ESRC.

The co-funded proposal costs from both ESRC and RO contributions should meet the needs of the programme of work proposed.

The ESRC will fund directly incurred costs only. In other respects, standard ESRC funding policies apply. This means that we will fund 80% of these costs (except for standard exceptions).

To establish a sustainable funding model for the centre, the RO will be required to fund the directly allocated and indirect costs of the proposal at a minimum alongside the remaining directly incurred costs not funded from the ESRC request. Additional directly incurred costs can also be funded by the RO if desired. The proposal must provide evidence that the full economic costs of the proposal are funded.

ESRC data infrastructure

ESRC supports a range of data infrastructure. Where relevant, we encourage applicants to consider whether the use of these resources could add value to the project. See Facilities and resources for information on finding and using ESRC datasets which are available across the UK.

Where relevant, details of datasets and infrastructure to be used in your project should be given in the Facilities section.

Data requirements

ESRC recognises the importance of data quality and provenance. Data generated by ESRC-funded research must be well-managed by the grant holder to enable their data to be exploited to the maximum potential for further research. See our research data policy for details and further information on data requirements. The requirements of the research data policy are a condition of ESRC research funding.

Where relevant, details on data management and sharing should be provided in the Data Management section. See the importance of managing and sharing data and content for inclusion in a data management plan on the UK Data Service (UKDS) website for further guidance. We expect applicants to provide a summary of the points provided. The UKDS (email: datasharing@ukdataservice.ac.uk) will be pleased to advise applicants on the availability of data within the academic community and provide advice on data deposit requirements.

Impact, innovation and interdisciplinarity

We expect you to consider the potential scientific, societal and economic impacts of your research. Outputs, dissemination and impact are a key part of the criteria for most peer review and assessment processes. We also encourage applications that demonstrate innovation and interdisciplinarity (research combining approaches from more than one discipline).

Knowledge exchange and collaboration

We are committed to knowledge exchange and encouraging collaboration between
researchers and the private, public and civil society sectors. Collaborative working benefits both the researchers and the individuals and organisations involved. Through collaboration, partners learn about each other’s expertise, share knowledge and gain an appreciation of different professional cultures. Collaborative activity can therefore lead to a better understanding of the ways that academic research can add value and offer insights to key issues of concern for policy and practice.

Knowledge exchange should not be treated as an ‘add-on’ at the end of a project but considered before the start and built into a project.

Equitable partnership principles

When undertaking research and innovation activities outside the UK, you must recognise and address the possible impact of contextual, societal and cultural differences on the ethical conduct of those activities.

Researchers should also follow the principles of equitable partnerships to address inherent power imbalances when working with partners in resource-poor settings.

Applying the principles will encourage equitable access, especially in low and middle-income countries (LMICs), while maintaining incentives for innovation. You should consider the principles from the start of the research and development cycle.

Read UKRI’s guidance on research in a global setting.

Research ethics

ESRC requires that the research we support is designed and conducted in such a way that it meets ethical principles and is subject to proper professional and institutional oversight in terms of research governance. We have agreed a Framework for Research Ethics that all submitted proposals must comply with. Read further details about the Framework for Research Ethics and guidance on compliance.

How to apply

The project lead is responsible for completing the application process on the UKRI Funding Service, but we expect all team members and project partners to contribute to the application.

Only the lead research organisation can submit an application to UKRI.

To apply

Select ‘Start application’ near the beginning of this Funding finder page.

  1. Confirm you are the project lead.
  2. Sign in or create a Funding Service account. To create an account, select your organisation, verify your email address, and set a password. If your organisation is not listed, email support@funding-service.ukri.org
  3. Answer questions directly in the text boxes. You can save your answers and come back to complete them or work offline and return to copy and paste your answers. If we need you to upload a document, follow the upload instructions in the Funding Service. All questions and assessment criteria are listed in the How to apply section on this Funding finder page.
  4. Allow enough time to check your application in ‘read-only’ view before sending to your research office.
  5. Send the completed application to your research office for checking. They will return it to you if it needs editing.
  6. Your research office will submit the completed and checked application to UKRI.

Watch our research office webinars about the new Funding Service.

For more guidance on the Funding Service, see:

Deadline

ESRC must receive your application by 4 July 2024 at 4:00pm UK time.

You will not be able to apply after this time.

Make sure you are aware of and follow any internal institutional deadlines.

Following the submission of your application to the funding opportunity, your application cannot be changed, and applications will not be returned for amendment. If your application does not follow the guidance, it may be rejected.

Personal data

Processing personal data

ESRC, as part of UKRI, will need to collect some personal information to manage your Funding Service account and the registration of your funding applications.

We will handle personal data in line with UK data protection legislation and manage it securely. For more information, including how to exercise your rights, read our privacy notice.

Publication of outcomes

ESRC, as part of UKRI, will publish the outcomes of this funding opportunity at What ESRC has funded.

If your application is successful, we will publish some personal information on the UKRI Gateway to Research.

Summary

Word limit: 550

In plain English, provide a summary we can use to identify the most suitable experts to assess your application.

We may make this summary publicly available on external-facing websites, so make it suitable for a variety of readers, for example:

  • opinion-formers
  • policymakers
  • the public
  • the wider research community

Guidance for writing a summary

Clearly describe your proposed work in terms of:

  • context
  • the challenge the Centre will address
  • aims and objectives
  • potential applications and benefits

Core team

List the key members of your team and assign them roles from the following:

  • project lead (PL)
  • project co-lead (UK) (PcL)
  • project co-lead (international) (PcL (I))
  • specialist
  • grant manager
  • professional enabling staff
  • research and innovation associate
  • technician
  • visiting researcher

Only list one individual as project lead.

Find out more about UKRI’s core team roles in funding applications.

Application questions

Vision

Word limit: 1,000

What are you hoping to achieve with your proposed work?

What the assessors are looking for in your response

Explain how your proposed work:

  • is of excellent quality and importance within or beyond the field(s) or area(s)
  • has the potential to advance current understanding, or generate new knowledge, thinking or discovery within or beyond the field or area
  • is timely given current trends, context, and needs
  • impacts world-leading research, society, the economy, or the environment

Where indicated, you can also demonstrate elements of your responses in visual form if relevant:

  • use images sparingly and only to convey important information that cannot easily be put into words
  • insert each new image onto a new line
  • provide a descriptive legend for each image immediately underneath it (this counts towards your word limit)
  • files must be smaller than 5MB and in JPEG, JPG, JPE, JFI, JIF, JFIF, PNG, GIF, BMP or WEBP format

Approach

Word limit: 4,000

How are you going to deliver your proposed work?

What the assessors are looking for in your response

Explain how you have designed your approach so that it:

  • is effective and appropriate to achieve your objectives
  • is feasible, and comprehensively identifies any risks to delivery and how they will be managed
  • uses a clearly written and transparent methodology (if applicable)
  • summarises the previous work and describes how this will be built upon and progressed
  • will maximise translation of outputs into outcomes and impacts
  • describes how your, and if applicable your team’s, research environment (in terms of the place and relevance to the project) will contribute to the success of the work
  • demonstrates evidence that issues relating to equality, diversity, inclusion have been considered throughout your approach

Within the Approach section we also expect you to:

  • provide a detailed and comprehensive project plan including milestones and timelines
  • clearly describe both the framework and specific analysis methods proposed and explain the reasons for their choice. You should particularly mention any innovation in this or how different methodologies or methods may be combined
  • explain what steps you will take to provide opportunities for users to benefit from your research, and to ensure that your research has maximum economic and societal impact
  • explain how the centre would leverage further funding to support the it in establishing a sustainable funding model for the longer term, should they wish to develop the centres research activities further

All applicants planning to generate data as part of their grant must complete the separate Data management question.

A list of references used to support your application can be added in the References question.

Where indicated, you can also demonstrate elements of your responses in visual form if relevant:

  • use images sparingly and only to convey important information that cannot easily be put into word
  • insert each new image onto a new line
  • provide a descriptive legend for each image immediately underneath it (this counts towards your word limit)
  • files must be smaller than 5MB and in JPEG, JPG, JPE, JFI, JIF, JFIF, PNG, GIF, BMP or WEBP format

Applicant and team capability to deliver

Word limit: 3,000

Why are you the right individual or team to successfully deliver the proposed work?

What the assessors are looking for in your response

Evidence of how you, and if relevant your team, have:

  • the relevant experience (appropriate to career stage) to deliver the proposed work
  • the right balance of skills and expertise to cover the proposed work
  • the appropriate leadership and management skills to deliver the work and your approach to develop others
  • contributed to developing a positive research environment and wider community

The word count for this section is 3,000 words, 2,000 words to be used for R4RI modules and, if necessary, a further 500 words for Additions.

Use the Résumé for Research and Innovation (R4RI) format to showcase the range of relevant skills you and, if relevant, your team (project and project co-leads, researchers, technicians, specialists, partners and so on) have and how this will help deliver the proposed work. You can include individuals’ specific achievements but only choose past contributions that best evidence their ability to deliver this work.

Complete this section using the R4RI module headings listed. Use each heading once and include a response for the whole team, see the UKRI guidance on R4RI. You should consider how to balance your answer, and emphasise where appropriate the key skills each team member brings:

  • contributions to the generation of new ideas, tools, methodologies, or knowledge
  • the development of others and maintenance of effective working relationships
  • contributions to the wider research and innovation community
  • contributions to broader research or innovation users and audiences and towards wider societal benefit
Additions

Provide any further details relevant to your application. This section is optional and can be up to 500 words. You should not use it to describe additional skills, experiences, or outputs, but you can use it to describe any factors that provide context for the rest of your R4RI (for example, details of career breaks if you wish to disclose them).

Complete this as a narrative. Do not format it like a CV.

UKRI has introduced new role types for funding opportunities being run on the new Funding Service.

For full details, see Eligibility as an individual.

Where indicated, you can also demonstrate elements of your responses in visual form if relevant:

  • use images sparingly and only to convey important information that cannot easily be put into words
  • insert each new image onto a new line
  • provide a descriptive legend for each image immediately underneath it (this counts towards your word limit)
  • files must be smaller than 5MB and in JPEG, JPG, JPE, JFI, JIF, JFIF, PNG, GIF, BMP or WEBP format

Ethics and responsible research and innovation (RRI)

Word limit: 500

What are the ethical or RRI implications and issues relating to the proposed work? If you do not think that the proposed work raises any ethical or RRI issues, explain why.

What the assessors are looking for in your response

Demonstrate that you have identified and evaluated:

  • the relevant ethical or responsible research and innovation considerations
  • how you will manage these considerations

All proposals have to comply with the ESRC Framework for Research Ethics which includes guidance for applicants and links to related web resources.

All necessary ethical approvals must be in place before the project commences, but do not need to have been secured at the time of application.

If you are generating data as part of your project, you should complete the Data management question and should cover ethical considerations relating to data in your response.

If you are not generating data and have not completed the Data management question you should address any legal or ethical considerations relating to your use of data here.

Additional sub-questions (to be answered only if appropriate) relating to research involving:

  • animals
  • human participants
  • genetically modified organisms

Where indicated, you can also demonstrate elements of your responses in visual form if relevant:

  • use images sparingly and only to convey important information that cannot easily be put into words
  • insert each new image onto a new line
  • provide a descriptive legend for each image immediately underneath it (this counts towards your word limit)
  • files must be smaller than 5MB and in JPEG, JPG, JPE, JFI, JIF, JFIF, PNG, GIF, BMP or WEBP format

Genetic and biological risk

Word limit: 700

Does your proposed research involve any genetic or biological risk?

What the assessors are looking for in your response

In respect of animals, plants or microbes, are you proposing to:

  • use genetic modification as an experimental tool, like studying gene function in a genetically modified organism
  • release genetically modified organisms
  • ultimately develop commercial and industrial genetically modified outcomes

If yes, provide the name of any required approving body and state if approval is already in place. If it is not, provide an indicative timeframe for obtaining the required approval.

Identify the organism or organisms as a plant, animal or microbe and specify the species and which of the three categories the research relates to.

Identify the genetic and biological risks resulting from the proposed research, their implications, and any mitigation you plan on taking. Assessors will want to know you have considered the risks and their implications to justify that any identified risks do not outweigh any benefits of the proposed research.

If this does not apply to your proposed work, you will be able to indicate this in the Funding Service.

Research involving the use of animals

Word limit: 10

Does your proposed research involve the use of vertebrate animals or other organisms covered by the Animals Scientific Procedures Act?

What the assessors are looking for in your response

If you are proposing research that requires using animals, download and complete the Animals Scientific Procedures Act template (DOCX, 74KB), which contains all the questions relating to research using vertebrate animals or other Animals (Scientific Procedures) Act 1986 regulated organisms.

Save it as a PDF. The Funding Service will provide document upload details when you apply. If this does not apply to your proposed work, you will be able to indicate this in the Funding Service.

Conducting research with animals overseas

Word limit: 10

Will any of the proposed animal research be conducted overseas?

What the assessors are looking for in your response

If you are proposing to conduct overseas research, it must be conducted in accordance with welfare standards consistent with those in the UK, as in Responsibility in the use of animals in bioscience research, page 14.

Ensure all named applicants in the UK and overseas are aware of this requirement. Provide a statement to confirm that:

  • all named applicants are aware of the requirements and have agreed to abide by them
  • this overseas research will be conducted in accordance with welfare standards consistent with the principles of UK legislation
  • the expectation set out in Responsibility in the use of animals in bioscience research will be applied and maintained
  • appropriate national and institutional approvals are in place

Overseas studies proposing to use non-human primates, cats, dogs, equines or pigs will be assessed during NC3Rs review of research applications. Provide the required information by completing the template from the question ‘Research involving the use of animals’.

For studies involving other species, select, download, and complete the relevant Word checklist or checklists from this list:

Save as a PDF. If you use more than one checklist, save it as a single PDF.

The Funding Service will provide document upload details when you apply. If this does not apply to your proposed work, you will be able to indicate this in the Funding Service.

Research involving human participation

Word limit: 700

Will the project involve the use of human subjects or their personal information?

What the assessors are looking for in your response

If you are proposing research that requires the involvement of human subjects, provide the name of any required approving body and whether approval is already in place.

Justify the number and the diversity of the participants involved, as well as any procedures.

Provide details of any areas of substantial or moderate severity of impact.

If this does not apply to your proposed work, you will be able to indicate this in the Funding Service.

Research involving human tissues or biological samples

Word limit: 700

Does your proposed research involve the use of human tissues, or biological samples?

What the assessors are looking for in your response

If you are proposing work that involves human tissues or biological samples, provide the name of any required approving body and whether approval is already in place.

Justify the use of human tissue or biological samples specifying the nature and quantity of the material to be used and its source.

If this does not apply to your proposed work, you will be able to indicate this in the Funding Service.

Resources and cost justification

Word limit: 1,000

What will you need to deliver your proposed work and how much will it cost?

What the assessors are looking for in your response

Justify the application’s more costly resources, in particular:

  • project staff
  • significant travel for field work or collaboration (but not regular travel between collaborating organisations or to conferences)
  • any equipment that will cost more than £10,000
  • any consumables beyond typical requirements, or that are required in exceptional quantities
  • all facilities and infrastructure costs
  • all resources that have been costed as ‘Exceptions’

Assessors are not looking for detailed costs or a line-by-line breakdown of all project resources. Overall, they want you to demonstrate how the resources you anticipate needing for your proposed work:

  • are comprehensive, appropriate, and justified
  • represent the optimal use of resources to achieve the intended outcomes
  • maximise potential outcomes and impacts

For detailed guidance on eligible costs please see the ESRC Research Funding Guide.

Primary discipline classification

Word limit: 5

Enter the primary discipline for this project.

What the assessors are looking for in your response

Select one primary area of research from the list of social disciplines below and enter into the text field:

  • area studies
  • demography
  • development studies
  • economics
  • education
  • environmental planning
  • history
  • human geography
  • law and legal studies
  • linguistics
  • management and business studies
  • political science and international studies
  • psychology
  • science and technology studies
  • social anthropology
  • social policy
  • social work
  • sociology
  • tools, technologies and methods

This information is used to determine eligibility for ESRC funding and to assist in the selection of appropriate reviewers.

Your organisation’s support

Word limit: 10

Provide details of support from your research organisation.

What the assessors are looking for in your response

Provide a Statement of Support from your research organisation detailing why the proposed work is needed. This should include details of any matched funding that will be provided to support the activity and any additional support that might add value to the work.

Please note that the statement should evidence the RO’s strategic commitment to the centre through a minimum contribution that equates to, or exceeds, the full economic costs (that is 100% FEC) of the request to ESRC.

The co-funded proposal costs from both ESRC and RO contributions should meet the needs of the programme of work proposed.

To establish a sustainable funding model for the centre the RO will be required to fund the directly allocated and indirect costs of the proposal at a minimum alongside the remaining DI costs not funded from the ESRC request. Additional directly incurred costs can also be funded by the RO if desired.

The Panel will be looking for a strong statement of commitment from your research organisation to ensure the financial support from the RO is met.

ESRC recognises that in some instances, this information may be provided by the Research Office, the Technology Transfer Office (TTO) or equivalent, or a combination of both.

You must also include the following details:

  • a significant person’s name and their position, from the TTO or Research Office, or both
  • office address or web link

Upload details are provided within the Funding Service on the actual application.
Upload as a single PDF ensuring it is no larger than 8MB. Or upload a PDF file of your Statement of Support that is a maximum of 8MB and not more than one side of A4.

For the file name, use the unique Funding Service number the system gives you when you create an application, followed by the words ‘RO Statement’.

If the attachment does not meet these requirements, the application will be rejected.
Unless specifically requested, do not include any sensitive personal data within the attachment.

Project partners

Add details about any project partners’ contributions. If there are no project partners, you can indicate this on the Funding Service.

A project partner is a collaborating organisation who will have an integral role in the proposed research. This may include direct (cash) or indirect (in-kind) contributions such as expertise, staff time or use of facilities.

Add the following project partner details:

  • the organisation name and address (searchable via a drop-down list or enter the organisation’s details manually, as applicable)
  • the project partner contact name and email address
  • the type of contribution (direct or in-direct) and its monetary value

If a detail is entered incorrectly and you have saved the entry, remove the specific project partner record and re-add it with the correct information.

For audit purposes, UKRI requires formal collaboration agreements to be put in place if an award is made.

Project partners letters or emails of support

Word limit: 10

Upload a single PDF containing the letters or emails of support from each partner you named in the Project Partner section (if applicable).

What the assessors are looking for in your response

Enter the words ‘attachment supplied’ in the text box, or if you do not have any project partners enter ‘N/A’.

Each letter or email you provide should:

  • confirm the partner’s commitment to the project
  • clearly explain the value, relevance, and possible benefits of the work to them
  • describe any additional value that they bring to the project
  • be no more than one A4 page in length

Save letters or emails of support from each partner in a single PDF no bigger than 8MB. Unless specially requested, please do not include any sensitive personal data within the attachment.

For the file name, use the unique Funding Service number the system gives you when you create an application, followed by the words ‘Project partner’.

If the attachment does not meet these requirements, the application will be rejected.

The Funding Service will provide document upload details when you apply. If you do not have any project partners, you will be able to indicate this in the Funding Service.

Ensure you have prior agreement from project partners so that, if you are offered funding, they will support your project as indicated in the contributions template.

For audit purposes, UKRI requires formal collaboration agreements to be put in place if an award is made.

Do not provide letters of support from host and project co-leads’ research organisations.

Data management

Word limit: 500

How will you manage and share data generated through the proposed work?

What the assessors are looking for in your response

Demonstrate that you have designed your proposed work so that you can:

Within the Data Management section we also expect you to:

  • plan for the research through the life cycle of the award until data is accepted for archiving by the UK Data Service (UKDS) or a responsible data repository
  • demonstrate compliance with ESRC’s Research Data Policy and ESRC Framework for Research Ethics. This should include confirmation that existing datasets have been reviewed and why currently available datasets are inadequate for the proposed research
  • cover any legal and ethical considerations of collecting, releasing or storing the data, including consent, confidentiality, anonymisation, security and other ethical issues
  • include any challenges to data sharing (for example, copyright or data confidentiality), with possible solutions discussed to optimise data sharing

If this does not apply to your proposed work, you will be able to indicate this in the Funding Service.

Facilities

Word limit: 250

Does your proposed work require the support and use of a facility?

What the assessors are looking for in your response

If you will need to use a facility (including access to, and use of data infrastructure), follow your proposed facility’s normal access request procedures. Ensure you have prior agreement so that if you are offered funding, they will support the use of their facility on your project. ESRC encourages the use of secondary and linked datasets.

For each requested facility you will need to provide the:

  • name of facility, copied and pasted from the facility information list (DOCX, 35KB)
  • proposed usage or costs, or costs per unit where indicated on the facility information list
  • confirmation you have their agreement where required

If you will not need to use a facility, you will be able to indicate this in the Funding Service.

References

Word limit: 1,000

List the references you have used to support your application.

What the assessors are looking for in your response

Include all references in this section, not in the rest of the application questions.

You should not include any other information in this section.

We advise you not to include hyperlinks, as assessors are not obliged to access the information they lead to or consider it in their assessment of your application.

If linking to web resources, to maintain the information’s integrity, include persistent identifiers (such as digital object identifiers) where possible.

You must not include links to web resources to extend your application.

How we will assess your application

Assessment process

We will assess your application using the following process.

Panel

We will invite two independent academic assessors with established expertise in the centre’s area to assess the centre’s transition funding application. The assessment is intended to be relatively light touch for both applicants and assessors as centres were selected through rigorous competition in an open competition.

You will have an opportunity to clarify and respond to assessors’ comments if it is deemed to be necessary in making a funding recommendation to the ESRC.

Feedback

Where feedback is available, it will be provided by email.

Principles of assessment

We support the San Francisco declaration on research assessment (DORA) and recognise the relationship between research assessment and research integrity.

Find out about the UKRI principles of assessment and decision making.

Assessment criteria

The assessment areas we will use are:

  • vision
  • approach
  • applicant and team capability to deliver
  • ethics and responsible research and innovation (RRI)
  • your organisation’s support
  • resource and cost justification

Find details of assessment questions and criteria under the ‘Application questions’ heading in the ‘How to apply’ section.

Contact details

Get help with your application

Important note: The Helpdesk is committed to helping users of the UKRI Funding Service as effectively and as quickly as possible. In order to manage cases at peak volume times, the Helpdesk will triage and prioritise those queries with an imminent opportunity deadline or a technical issue. Enquiries raised where information is available on the Funding Finder opportunity page and should be understood early in the application process (for example, regarding eligibility or content/remit of an opportunity) will not constitute a priority case and will be addressed as soon as possible.

Contact details

For help and advice on costings and writing your proposal please contact your research office in the first instance, allowing sufficient time for your organisation’s submission process.

For questions related to this specific funding opportunity please contact centrespolicy@esrc.ukri.org

Any queries regarding the system or the submission of applications through the Funding Service should be directed to the helpdesk.

Email: support@funding-service.ukri.org
Phone: 01793 547490

Our phone lines are open:

  • Monday to Thursday 8:30am to 5:00pm
  • Friday 8:30am to 4:30pm

To help us process queries quicker, we request that users highlight the council and opportunity name in the subject title of their email query, include the application reference number, and refrain from contacting more than one mailbox at a time.

Find out more information on submitting an application.

Sensitive information

If you or a core team member need to tell us something you wish to remain confidential, email centrespolicy@esrc.ukri.org

Include in the subject line: [the funding opportunity title; sensitive information; your Funding Service application number].

Typical examples of confidential information include:

  • individual is unavailable until a certain date (for example due to parental leave)
  • declaration of interest
  • additional information about eligibility to apply that would not be appropriately shared in the ‘Applicant and team capability’ section
  • conflict of interest for UKRI to consider in reviewer or panel participant selection
  • the application is an invited resubmission

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Additional info

Background

ESRC centres

ESRC centres are world-leading centres of excellence that carry out interdisciplinary, cutting-edge and impactful research in the social sciences and beyond.

ESRC centres deliver challenge-led research, bringing together the right people, disciplines, institutions, and infrastructure to respond to that challenge within a five-year timeframe.

ESRC centres range from £5 million to £10 million at full economic cost for up to five years. ESRC funds 80% of full economic cost.

ESRC centre policy funding provides graduated support over the longer term to help centres establish a self-sustaining funding model once ESRC funding comes to an end.

A typical funding pathway for a new centre under this policy would be as follows:

  • centres competition funding: the centre is funded for five years following success in an open centres competition
  • transition review: towards the end of its grant the centre successfully applies for ESRC transition funding for a further three to five years, which is supplemented by a commitment from their host research organisation
  • legacy ESRC centre status: towards the end of the transition funding the centre applies for a further five-year period of limited funding and recognition as an ESRC centre to help it leverage funding from other sources and in communicating and engaging with research users

Research disruption due to COVID-19

We recognise that the COVID-19 pandemic has caused major interruptions and disruptions across our communities. We are committed to ensuring that individual applicants and their wider team, including partners and networks, are not penalised for any disruption to their career, such as:

  • breaks and delays
  • disruptive working patterns and conditions
  • the loss of ongoing work
  • role changes that may have been caused by the pandemic

Reviewers and panel members will be advised to consider the unequal impacts that COVID-19 related disruption might have had on the capability to deliver and career development of those individuals included in the application. They will be asked to consider the capability of the applicant and their wider team to deliver the research they are proposing.

Where disruptions have occurred, you can highlight this within your application if you wish, but there is no requirement to detail the specific circumstances that caused the disruption.

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