ANIE Network | ESRC: Research Centres Competition 2018
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ESRC: Research Centres Competition 2018

We are investing up to £30 million over five years through this centres competition. It is anticipated that ESRC will fund four centres. The competition is for proposals ranging from £2 million to £8 million 100% full economic cost (fEC) with a term of five years. We will meet 80% of the full economic costs on proposals submitted (ie ESRC funding total of £24 million at 80% fEC).

Research centre funding is aimed at experienced research leaders who require longer-term or extended support for research groups, inter-institutional research networks, project-linked programmes, medium-to-large surveys, other infrastructure or methodological developments, or any related larger-scale projects.

We envisage centres as long term investments which strengthen the social science landscape in the UK and successful proposals must add value to the current portfolio of ESRC centres. In addition to taking forward an ambitious research agenda and making significant economic or societal impact, centres add value by increasing research infrastructure, building capacity, encouraging interdisciplinary working in social science and beyond, and enabling research collaboration in the UK and internationally. We anticipate that over time centres awarded under this call will become major strategic partnerships with their host research organisations.


The competition is open to innovative new research addressing any major social and economic topic. There will be no priority areas for this call. It is an essential requirement that your primary research area is in the social sciences. We strongly encourage inter/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.

We particularly encourage ambitious and novel research proposals addressing new concepts and techniques, and proposals with the potential for significant scientific or societal and economic impact.  Knowledge exchange and impact-generating activities will be an integral part of any centre proposal, regardless of topic area or discipline.

Submissions from existing centres should explain how the proposal meets the current centre’s aims and objectives and how the research programme will be expanded upon. Proposals for new centres should ensure that they do not substantially overlap or duplicate an existing centre. We would expect centres to have the strategic support of their host research organisation (RO), and to provide evidence of the institution’s support to the centre over the longer term.   Read More…