How to submit your proposal - ESRC


What constitutes a new proposal?

A new proposal should involve a significant change of focus from any previous proposal you have submitted to ESRC, and will likely be accompanied by a different set of costings to deliver the project. Proposals which demonstrate only minor amendments from previous submissions, for example specific changes based on previous peer review feedback alone, will be counted as resubmissions.

We expect new proposals to have fresh or significantly modified objectives and/or an entirely revised methodological/analytical approach to a research question. Any proposal which does not meet either of these criteria will be judged a resubmission.

When preparing any new proposal a good approach is to critically ask yourself if any of the following apply. If the answer is ‘yes’ then your proposal may be considered a resubmission:

  • broadly the same title and/or proposal summary
  • overall aim of a new proposal and its high-level objectives broadly the same
  • broadly the same research questions
  • broadly the same resources required to carry out the research
  • principal and co-investigators on a proposal are amended (for example swapping of roles) whilst the content of the proposal is essentially the same.

However, this is not an exhaustive list and none of these points in isolation will be used to define a resubmission.

In order to treat everyone fairly, we cannot engage in discussions about whether a particular proposal will be treated as a resubmission before you apply. We advise that you consult within your institution before making an application which you believe may be considered a resubmission.

The identification of uninvited resubmissions will rest with staff within the ESRC. In considering the eligibility of a new proposal the ESRC may approach a member of the grant assessment panels (GAPs) to assess whether the proposal is an uninvited resubmission of a previous proposal. This will generally only be in difficult cases where external advice is required to inform the decision.

Last updated: 16 June 2022

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