Monday, 11 April 2011

Scanning the ESRC Horizon

Following on from the last post, I think it's worth highlighting the other ESRC schemes that haven’t actually opened for applications, but we know are on the horizon. Given the time it takes to put together a good application it’s worth having a look at these and planning ahead for your funding bids.
  • ESRC/AHRC Public Policy Fellowship Scheme (to be announced shortly). For those wishing to spend time working within partner organisations to undertake policy relevant research, to develop research skills and facilitate knowledge exchange within Government, public sector organisations and across academic networks. Public Policy Fellowships also encourage colleagues from partner organisations to spend time within academic units to work on an agreed project(s) and to increase their research skills. They will be available for 3-6 months, but up to 12 months by exception. They can be full or part-time.
  • Open Research Area – Collaborative Grants (info available shortly; open for applications from 1 July 2011). The ESRC ran a pilot call with sister funders in France, Germany and the Netherlands last year, and plan to run it again this year. The Open Research Area (ORA) scheme will provide for the funding of integrated projects by researchers coming from more than one of the four participating countries - in any combination of two or more countries. The call for proposals for the ORA call 2011 will be published on the ANR, DFG, ESRC and NWO websites in spring 2011.The four funding organizations will prepare a common point for electronic applications. An online platform will be open for applications under this scheme from the 1of July 2011. The Deadline for the Call will be in Mid September 2011, with decisions by the end of June 2012. The earliest start date is 1 July 2012. More info here.
  • Seminar Series (info available in May). Already mentioned this, but for completion's sake: the ESRC has announced that the scheme will run in 2011/12. Details of it are available here. The scheme offers up to £15k for researchers and users to 'meet regularly to exchange information and ideas with the aim of advancing research within their fields.' Details of the 2011/12 competition will be available in May.
  • Professorial Fellowships (info available in October, with deadline in December). The scheme is designed to support leading social scientists working in the UK, by providing them with the freedom to pursue their own innovative and creative research agendas. Fellows will have an outstanding track record of research and be acknowledged scholarly leaders in their field at the international level. More information is available here.
  • Future Leaders (details and dates to be confirmed). This scheme was announced in the ESRC’s Delivery Plan, and is intended to replace the Postdoc Fellowships and First Grants schemes. No details yet, but think about whether you (or someone you know) would fit the scheme. It will be open to new researchers within 6 years of their PhD, and will provide funding for up to two years for clearly defined projects that will develop ‘future research leaders’ in one the three ESRC priority areas, namely: Economic Performance and Sustainable Growth; Influencing Behaviour and Informing Interventions; and a Vibrant and Fair Society; or in an area where there is an identified skills shortage. The scheme will support 50-80 new grants per year.
  • Large Grants & Centres (details and dates to be confirmed). Info here is even sketchier than that for the ‘Future Leaders’, just a statement on their website as follows: ‘We will be integrating our large grants and centre competitions. More information will be available shortly.’ So it looks like there will be ‘big’ funding available for centres, large and long-term projects. I’ll pass on any details when they are announced.
In addition, the following are currently open (in order of closing date):
  • ESRC/AHRC Placement Fellowship at Dept of Culture, Media & Sport (deadline 11 May 2011). The key tasks will be the production of accessible guidance on ‘measuring the value of culture’. This guidance should meet the needs of policymakers, practitioners and other stakeholders. In addition, the fellow should identify, and scope out, areas where valuation studies could be undertaken to meet existing policy needs. More info here.
  • Innovation Research Initiative (deadline 12 May 2011). The Initiative supports ‘research and knowledge exchange focused on the broad role, drivers and impact of innovation.’ More info here, or discuss your ideas with Brian Lingley, the Enterprise Funding Officer at Kent Innovation and Enterprise.
  • DFID/ESRC Growth Programme (deadline 26 May 2011). Intended to fund world class scientific research on issues relating to inclusive economic growth in Low Income Countries (LICs), with high potential for impact on policy and practice. There are three themes under the call: Theme 1: Agriculture and Growth:This theme will focus on developing understanding of the relationship between agricultural development and broader economic growth, and on the impact of policies on agricultural productivity.o Theme 2: Financial Sector Development and Growth: This theme will focus on macro issues in finance in LICs, including regulation and supervision of financial markets, the structure of the sector, and management of capital inflows. Theme 3: Innovation, Diffusion and Economic Growth: Raising Productivity in Low Income Countries This theme will investigate issues around innovation, the spread of know-how, and the process of adapting know-how to meet local conditions in LICs. More info available here.
  • ESRC/AHRC ‘Digging into Data’ Challenge (deadline 16 June 2011). This is intended to spur cutting edge research in the humanities and social sciences based around new analytical techniques and new forms of data with research value. The Digging into Data Challenge poses the provocative question of how can we use advanced computational methods and new forms of data to address new questions about and gain further insights into our world? The ESRC has a particular interest in research projects that will assess: the suitability of new forms of data for particular research purposes; the accessibility of new forms of data for research in the social and economic sciences,whilst demonstrating the value of such data for social and economic research. More info on the scheme is available here.
  • Rising Powers and Interdependent Futures (deadline 8 Sept 2011). This focuses on the implications of the Rising Powers for the rest of the world (paying attention to both developed and developing countries), and on how the rising powers’ interactions with each other and other countries are changing. Applications are expected to focus on one or more of the themes below from an interdisciplinary perspective and international comparative and/or collaborative work is welcome. The three themes are: Causes, sustainability and competitiveness; Global and regional governance and the balance of power; Well-being and equity. This call has a budget of £3.3M available for Research Projects at 100 per cent fEC. The ESRC welcomes Research Grant Proposals with total costs of between £200k and £750k (at 100 per cent fEC). Consistent with the Research Councils' arrangements for fEC, the ESRC will contribute 80 per cent of this cost and the remaining balance must be guaranteed by the Research Organisation. Eligible institutions may include applications for attached project linked studentships within their proposal. More info here.
  • Standard Grants (open deadline). As you know, the lower limit for these was raised to £200k, and the higher limit upped to £2m. You can apply anytime. More information here, or contact us here for help with developing a proposal and calculating the costs of your project.
Do get in touch if you want to know more about any of these.

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