The Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) is the UK’s largest organisation for funding research on economic and social issues. We support independent, high quality research which has an impact on business, the public sector and civil society. ESRC’s total core budget is around £202 million.
At any one time we support over 4,000 researchers and postgraduate students in academic institutions and independent research institutes.
What ESRC offers
Our grants are made in open competition, subject to transparent peer assessment at the outset and evaluation on completion. Rigorous standards are applied to all the training we support and our research often involves multidisciplinary teams, collaboration with other councils, and frequently takes a long-term view. Our datasets, longitudinal and panel studies are internationally acclaimed resources.
Our research makes a difference: it shapes public policies and makes businesses, voluntary bodies and other organisations more effective as well as shaping wider society. Our knowledge exchange schemes are carefully devised to maximise the economic and social impacts of the investments that we fund.
Although publicly funded, we emphasise the importance of independent and impartial research. We have no ‘in-house’ researchers, but distribute funds to academics in universities and other institutes throughout the UK.