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ESRC
U
pdate

Professor Paul Boyle, Chief Executive, ESRC

Introduction

ESRC


The major public sector funder of social science
research and post graduate training in the UK


Non
-
Departmental Public Body, established in 1965,
largely funded through the Department of Business
Innovation and Skills (BIS)


Key Principles:


Quality


Impact


Independence


Economic and Societal Impact


ESRC supports excellent research that has impact


Creating, assessing and communicating impact is
central to all our activities


Pathways to impact


Impact toolkit


Research Excellence Framework (20% for impact)




Distribution of ESRC Funding 2011/12

International,
£4m
(2%)

Administration &
Programme
Management,
£
13m
(6%)

Responsive
Research, £
49m
(24%)

Methods &
Infrastructure,
£
30m (14%)

Strategic &
Collaborative
Research, £
53m
(25%)

Training & Skills,
£
54m (26%)

Knowledge
Exchange, £
6m
(3%)

Funding


B
udget for 2012/13 is £200m (BIS allocation of £179m)


CSR 2010


2% cut in real terms to Programme budget


23% cut in real terms to Administration budget


N
eed to continue to make strong arguments for social
science research in the next CSR


Importance of continuing to invest in the future:


Long
-
term infrastructure


Next generation of research leaders


Research areas of major national importance




ESRC Funding Opportunities

Research Career
EARLY
SENIOR
Funding Amount
200k
2m
5m
+
Centres and Large Grants
(early career researchers involved
through grant linked studentships
etc rather than as
Principal
Investigator
)
Datasets and
Data Services
Research Grants
Open Research Area
International Bi
-
l
aterals
Professorial
Fellowships
Future
Research
Leaders
PhD
(through
DTCs)
Secondary Data Analysis
Initiative
Knowledge Exchange & Follow
-
on Funding
Seminars & International Networking
International Collaboration


E
mbed international in all we do


International Co
-
Investigators


Work with European partners


Open Research Area (ESRC, NOW, DFG, ANR


now NSF)


Strengthen collaborations with key partner countries


3 RCUK teams (US, India and China)


I
nfluence Horizon 2020


E
nsure social scientists contribute to all societal challenges


E
xtend our successful partnerships

with DfID

7 Research Councils and RCUK


Social Science is embedded in all
six cross
-
Council programmes


ESRC leads


Global
Uncertainties


RCUK Programmes


Partnerships and Collaboration


Collaboration with private, public and third
-
sector
bodies through co
-
funding of research and people
exchange


Attract around £20m of additional co
-
funding each year


Co
-
production ensures research is better placed to inform
policy and practice


P
rivate sector prioritised for increased engagement and
co
-
funding


Focus initially on financial services, green business and retail


ESRC
-
led partnerships

Refreshing the Strategic
P
riorities

2011 Delivery Plan


Economic Performance and Sustainable Growth


Influencing Behaviour and Informing Interventions


Vibrant and Fair Society



Contributions to all 6 RCUK challenges and TSB


Building social science capability


Refresh February 2013


What have we achieved and which gaps need to be filled?


How can we respond to urgent but unpredictable
scientific opportunities?


Economic Performance and Sustainable
Growth

In 2011 Council committed to making new investments in:


Entrepreneurship


-


Achieved
as Enterprise Research
Centre; BIS
,
BBA, ESRC






£2.9
m, lead: University of
Warwick


Rising Powers



-

Achieved
as third phase of
Rising Powers Programme







£6m, 12 projects


Macro
-
economics


-

Achieved as Centre for Macroeconomics, £3.9 m







lead: LSE (
also international symposium
)


Risk





-

A
chieved as Systemic Risk Centre, £3.8 m lead: LSE







and Centre for Study of Risk and Ambiguity £3.4 m lead:







Exeter



Global distribution of

-

Achieved
as ESRC/DFID growth
programme,

Economic Performance


Venture
,
£9.9 m, 18 projects



5 of 5
targets met





Expenditure across
ESRC’s
portfolio

13

0
5
10
15
20
25
30
12/13
13/14
14/15
15/16
16/17
£Millions


Financial Years


Analysis of Expenditure by Strategic Priority Area

(Minus DfID Poverty Alleviation programme)


Economic Performance
Understanding Individual Behaviour
V& F (Exc DFID)
Investment

Headroom

15

Expenditure across
ESRC’s
portfolio


Putting it Together

Strategic Priority

Gap

Smart Potential

Cross

Council

Business/

TSB

International

Partnering

Economic Performance and Sustainable
Growth

Business Innovation

*

*

*

Housing



*



Future Cities

*

*

*

Green Economy

*

*

*

Local Economic Growth

*



*

New Macro Economics





*

Financial Markets



*

*

Influencing Behaviour and Informing
Interventions

Health Inequalities

*



*

Crime







Epigenetics

*



*

Educational Neuroscience

*



*

Innovation in Healthcare

*

*

*

A Vibrant and Fair Society

Civil

Society,
Social
Innovation, Civic Participation





*

Human Rights, Diversity

*



*

Education


Developing Countries, Higher Education





*

Social Media



*

*

Democratic Renewal







Building Social Science Capacity

Big Data

*

*

*

Evidence, What Works

*

*

*

N.B. Europe!


24

C
apacity
B
uilding

National Capability


Providing support across all stages of the career


Opportunities for early and mid
-
career


Doctoral Training
Centres


Future Research Leaders and Research Grants


Opportunities for senior and established researchers


Professorial Fellowships and larger schemes


Opportunities for all researchers through ESRC grants
schemes, and training through NCRM and RDI



Doctoral Training
Centres


21 DTCs


our main capacity building vehicle


First cohorts started in October 2011


645 awards made in year 1, and 753 in year 2


First and final
y
ear
c
onferences for ESRC PhD students


Tailored initiatives to:


C
oncentrate studentships in strategic areas (e.g. AQM and economics)


E
xpand collaboration with public, private and civil
s
ociety organisations through
internships and collaborative activities


Utilise

and build upon existing or emerging international links


Develop an Advanced Training Network

Advanced Training Network


Integrated network of advanced training for all

postgraduate researchers, not only those funded by
ESRC


Consultation to identify gaps in provision


Additional training commissioned later in the year


All postgraduate researchers can register for any of these
courses, at a maximum cost of £30 per day

DTC Lessons Learned


Training and Skills Committee is currently carrying
out a ‘lessons learned’ exercise


ESRC expects studentships to be awarded on the basis of
excellence


Balance between +3 and 1+3 studentships


Success of securing co
-
funding


Progress on these matters will be considered when
decisions around re
-
commissioning are being made


ESRC encourages DTC Directors to work together
to develop best practice

Infrastructure

UK Strategy for Data Resources for
Social and Economic Research


The ‘national data strategy’ was first
published in
2007, updated in 2009, and being refreshed for
2013


Owned by the UK
D
ata Foru
m


Priorities and recommendations include:


Improved data linkage


Develop partnerships and collaborative work


Explore customer databases and international partnerships


ESRC
Data infrastructure led by the new UK Data
Service (UKDS)


Access to census and other datasets and a new website

Capital Funding


Chancellor’s Autumn Statement included £600m for
science, research and innovation, £484m for RCUK


Funds to support the development of innovative
technologies across eight areas, including ‘big data’


Draws from RCUK Strategic Framework for Capital
Investment (published Nov
2012)


ESRC earmarked £64m to support packages of activity
within the ‘big data’ theme


Administrative Data Taskforce


Jointly established by the ESRC, MRC,
Wellcome

Trust, chaired by Sir Alan
Langlands


5 recommendations


Administrative
Data Research
Centres
(
ADRCs)
should be
established
in each country of the UK


Legislation should be enacted to facilitate
research access to
administrative data
(generic legal gateway)


R
esearcher
accreditation
process and training


Strategy
for engaging with the public


Funds to support
access to and linkage between
data

Business
Datasafe


N
ational
resource for analysing business
dynamics,
drawing
upon a wide range of previously unavailable and disparate data
sources


From organisational surveys to customer databases

(e.g. store
cards,
utilities data,
banking transactions, mortgage details,
etc.)


Enable
new analysis that
informs broad
understanding of
economic growth, organisational efficiency, productivity,
employment
relations,
organisational
finance, investment,
health and wellbeing at the
workplace…..


Understanding Populations


Opportunities to capitalise on existing
data assets


ESRC funds world
leading longitudinal
studies:


British Household Panel Study & Understanding Society


English Longitudinal Study, Scottish LS
&
N. Ireland LS


Birth cohorts (1958, 1970,
Millennium Cohort) and Life
Study


English Longitudinal Study of Ageing (ELSA
) and other
ageing studies


Further
collection of a wide variety of biomarkers
and the genotyping of existing DNA
samples

Social Media Research


Social media is distinctive in capturing user
-
generated
data from populations


Social media analytics represent an opportunity to
invest in large scale social research


A Centre comprising a network of nodes across
participating countries, with a coordinating hub


Workshop in May 2013 to discuss Centre structure and
aims/objectives


Call likely to be announced in September 2013

New
S
chemes

Building QM Capacity


£15.5 million funding programme with Nuffield
Foundation and HEFCE


Promoting a step
-
change in quantitative methods training
for UK social science undergraduates


Centres of excellence that will provide cohorts of students
capable of filling the quantitative skills gap among
postgraduates


Possibility of new 4
-
year social science degrees

The Future of the UK and Scotland


O
bjective evidence on the effects of Scottish
independence


Phase 1


7 one
-
year Professorial Fellowships


10 research projects based at major ESRC investments


Conference event, May 2013, to inform the debate


Research Coordinator


Phase 2


Potential research initiative, examining medium term
impacts

What Works


National
, co
-
ordinated initiative that seeks to
strengthen the use of evidence for policy and
practice


Worked with Cabinet Office to establish ‘What
Works’
c
entres


Local economic growth (call opens March 25
th
)


Ageing


C
rime
and
policing


Re
-
offending


Early intervention (Education Endowment Foundation)

Transformative Research


ESRC
-
funded research tends to be incremental


Want to encourage greater innovation


next big
‘transformative’ ideas in social science


ROs receiving
over £100k of
ESRC funding, 2011
/
12


66
applications; panel shortlisted 32



Pitch to Peers’
workshop (March)


Supporting 20
awards,
from
June
2013


Re
-
launching the transformative potential of existing
schemes


Engaging with Retail


ESRC is continuing to increase its engagement with
retail sector


Retail Navigators


Nottingham Business School


Facilitating better communication between social science
researchers and
retailers


Data Navigators


Demographic Decisions Ltd


Data infrastructure of mutual interest to researchers and
retailers (e.g. store card data)


Impact Prize


A
nnual prize (£10,000) for achieving economic
/societal impact


Business


Public Policy


Society


International


Early Career


Impact Champion
of the Year


2 applications have been shortlisted in each category

Large Grants and Centres


Call due to be launched shortly


Likely to fund up to 8 awards


more than ever
before


Total budget likely to be doubled to £10 million


We want to see:


Ambitious bids


Improved quality
bids


More cross
-
institutional bids, bringing the very best
together

‘Priority Networks’


M
echanism for Centre/Large Grant applications


S
mall group of projects


Usually with existing relationships between researchers


C
oordinator selected from within the group


Evaluation show strengths include high levels of
collaboration and coordination


Recent example: ‘Network
for Integrated
Behavioural Science’
(Nottingham,
Warwick and
UEA)


Scale: not ‘scattergun’ large Programme approach


Other Funding Opportunities


EU
Joint Programme
-

Neurodegenerative Disease
Research (JPND)


Coordinator
for the Retail Sector Initiative



Strategic
Advisors for Data Resources



DFID
-
ESRC Growth Research Programme
-

call 2



Retail
Knowledge Exchange Opportunities



UK Drought and Water Scarcity (NERC website)



Digging into Data round 3



Operational Issues

Demand Management


Over last five years we have seen a 33% increase in
the number of applications


No additional funding available leading to fall in
success rates (research
g
rants scheme 13%)


B
urden on researchers, reviewers, universities and the
ESRC


We expect to see individuals and HEIs demonstrate
that they are improving self
-
regulation

Demand Management


To help meet these expectations we have…


P
rovision of performance data to individuals and institutions


Developed good practice guidelines


Invited
-
only resubmissions policy with associated guidance


Reduced
external
peer review burden
(greater
use of
outline
applications;
reduced referee
thresholds)


M
ore
tightly specified calls on managed mode schemes
(
e.g.
Centres and Large Grants competition)


RCUK harmonising
demand management measures


Demand Management Progress


Results include:


37% drop
in application volume


I
ncrease

in overall success rates from
17% to 24%


S
igns

of improvements in the
quality
of applications


R
eduction

of around
20% in
peer review requirements


Open Access


RCUK policy on Open Access from 1
st

April


RCUK definition of Open Access


Peer reviewed papers that acknowledge RC funding


Gold preferred, but green (6 / 12 months) also supported


CC
-
BY license


Additional funding (£10m + £17m year 1) to support
this activity


Journey, not an event (5 years)


Part of an international revolution

Open Access

Triennial Review


Review of the Research Councils, conducted by BIS,
taking
place over 6 months from January
2013


Two stage review process


Stage 1 (Jan

March): Assess
the need for Research Councils


Stage 2 (Apr

June): Examine RC structure
and
governance


Consultation of a wide range of
stakeholders, on


How structure contributes to delivery of functions


Relationship between RCs and other stakeholders


Relationship between RCs and ‘customers’




May 2012, over 1286 ESRC
-
related
media stories


Twitter followers increased 200% to
over 6,000 from 2,000 in 2011


ESRC videos viewed over 9,000
times in 2011, from 830 in 2010


Britain In
magazine (2011 won 2
nd

prize in International Content
Marketing Awards)





Communication Highlights

ESRC’s Contacts


Committees/Council Secretaries:


Nigel Bird, Audit Committee



nigel.bird@esrc.ac.uk


Vicki Crossley, Council











vicki.crossley@esrc.ac.uk

ac.uk


Vicki Crossley, Evaluation Committee






vicki.crossley@esrc.ac.uk

ac.uk


Paul Meller, Methods and Infrastructure Committee

paul.meller@esrc.ac.uk



Michelle Dodson, Research Committee




michelle.dodson@esrc.ac.uk


Dawn Woodgate, Training and Skills Committee


dawn.woodgate@esrc.ac.uk