As Adrian Alsop intimated when he visited in the autumn, the ESRC is going to cut its Small Grants scheme. Instead, it will concentrate its funding support on large projects costing more than £200,000.This is in response to the Government's resource allocation, announced yesterday. The ESRC will receive £5m less per annum by the end of the period.
The Small Grants scheme will end on 1 February, so I'd encourage anyone who was thinking of applying to it to get their skates on. In addition, their minimum level of funding for Standard Grants is £200k per project. As they say in their Delivery Plan, they are focusing their dwindling resources on 'longer, larger grants that deliver ambitious social science'.
The Council will also introduce a 'Future Leaders' scheme, which will replace their Postdoctoral Fellowships and First Grants schemes.
Interestingly, Research Professional has done a close reading of the Delivery Plan, and detects a change in its rhetoric. 'The delivery plan signals a shift from global to UK focus and greater emphasis on impact,' says RP. 'The introduction to the plan makes no mention of the ESRC's formerly prominent commitment to research projects on global poverty or population change and migration.'
Not good news, I'm afraid. If you want to discuss other possible funders for your research, do drop me a line.