Thursday, 23 April 2015

ESRC Announces New Grant Limits

An ESRC 'Costing Stormtrooper'
Last month the ESRC announced that it would be introducing changes to the funding thresholds for its Research Grants scheme. The lower threshold was to rise to £350,000 and the upper threshold fall to £1 million at Full Economic Costs.

In a surprise move the ESRC has decided to take this one step further.

'We changed our minds,' admitted Head of Analysis and Marginal Tweaking at the Council, Amelia Throttleford. 'We've crunched some numbers and have realised that we need to narrow the range still further.'

The changes will mean that the lower threshold will rise to £397,589, and the upper threshold will fall to £397,589.50. The changes will be introduced retrospectively, so that any current award holders with grants outside this range will be expected to give the money back, including interest.

Throttleford rejected any notion that this would lead to game-playing amongst applicants, who would try and fit their proposals within the specified funding range.

'Ah. We've anticipated that. As well as introducing these changes, we will be introducing 'Costing Stormtroopers' who will examine the budgets of all proposals, and where it's clear that costs have been over- or under-inflated, they will have the power to exterminate the applicants with extreme prejudice. It's the natural end point for the TRAC Methodology, I think.

'This will have a very positive effect on our success rates,' suggested Throttleford. 'We will still operate a light-touch, 'do-what-you-think-is-necessary' approach, but it will deter all those whose research is outwith the £397,589-397,589.50 funding 'sweet spot'. The fact that there was only one proposal in the bracket last year is neither here nor there.

'It'll be one in the eye for those smug gits at EPSRC with their rising success rates following the introduction of their 'blacklisting' measures,' said Throttleford. 'Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha!,' she concluded.

No comments:

Post a Comment