Funding opportunity

Funding opportunity: Pre-announcement: ADR UK Research Fellowships 2023

Apply for funding for a research fellowship using ADR England flagship data.

You must be based at a UK research organisation eligible for ADR UK funding.

Applications must make use of ADR England flagship linked data. The eligible list of datasets is contained within our brochure which will be updated in time for our funding opportunity announcement. For anticipated updates and additions, please read the ‘what we are looking for’ section.

The full economic cost of your project can be up to £175,000. ADR UK will fund 80% of the full economic cost.

This is a pre-announcement, and the information may change.

The funding opportunity will open on 5 July 2023. More information will be available on this page by then.

Who can apply

We welcome proposals from individual researchers from eligible research organisations, in line with ESRC’s standard eligibility criteria.

For further details, read the ESRC research funding guide.

Check if you are eligible for research and innovation funding.

Early career researchers may apply and must have a mentor. Please get in touch if you have any questions about this requirement or are struggling to find an appropriate mentor. Contact details can be found in the contact section.

Researchers on fixed term contracts are eligible to apply if their institutions are willing to extend their contracts to cover the period of the fellowship. You need an agreement to be hosted for the duration of the fellowship if successful at an institution eligible to receive UK Research and Innovation funding.

We encourage a minimum time commitment of 0.6 full-time equivalent for the core research phase, although this can be split if proposing a job share.

We also welcome letters of support from other organisations, both academic and non-academic, as we are keen to ensure that research is relevant and well-received.

What we're looking for

ADR UK will soon invite applications for ADR UK Research Fellowships using ADR England flagship datasets. Grants will be available for projects up to a value of £175,000 (full economic cost). These research fellowships will be funded for up to 18 months in duration.

Applications must make use of ADR England flagship linked datasets, held in the Office for National Statistics Secure Research Service or other ADR UK trusted research environments. These datasets are detailed in the ADR England flagship dataset brochure (PDF, 1.5MB), which will be updated when the funding opportunity opens for applications on 5 July 2023.

We anticipate that the following datasets will be made newly available for public good research, and added to the brochure, in time for the funding opportunity opening:

  1. The ECHILD Research database.
  2. The Administrative data | Agricultural Research Collection (ARC) datasets for England and Wales.
  3. The Ministry of Justice (MoJ) Data First: cross-justice system linked dataset.

In this round of funding, we plan to ringfence funding for one fellowship each for ECHILD, AD | ARC, and the Data First: cross-justice system linked dataset.

In addition, we anticipate that the following updates will be made to existing ADR England flagship datasets:

  1. A refresh of the MoJ-Department of Education (DfE) data linkage. This is expected to include additional years of data up to 2021.
  2. An update to the Longitudinal Education Outcomes (LEO) dataset iteration two. This is expected include additional years of data up to 2021 to 2022 school year, COVID-19 furlough data, and Inter Departmental Business Register.

These anticipated additions are subject to agreements and documentation being finalised in time for a July launch and are subject to change. The final additions to the flagship dataset brochure will be confirmed when the funding opportunity launches on 5 July 2023.

Within the total fund amount available for this funding opportunity, we currently plan to ringfence funding for one fellowship each for ECHILD, AD|ARC, and Data First: cross-justice system linked dataset. The allocation of remaining fellowships will be based on the quality of applications received. Other datasets in the brochure include Growing Up in England, the Annual Survey of Hours and Earnings – 2011 Census linked dataset, Grading and Admissions Data for England, and multiple datasets made available through the MoJ Data First programme.


We are looking for fellowship proposals that meet the following four objectives:

  • useful research: proposals that will act as ‘pathfinders’ for conducting research and deriving insights from the dataset, and which showcase the potential for policy impact and public benefit
  • useful data: proposals that will develop the data as a useful research resource for future users
  • useful engagement: proposals that will foster opportunities between academia, government, the third sector and the public to allow fresh thinking to flourish and maintain public acceptance of the use of data for research purposes
  • community building: proposals that will greatly boost the applicant’s development as a research leader in their field and include activities promoting the development of a wider community around a particular dataset or theme

Fellowship structure and expectations

The ADR England Research Fellowships are up to 18 months in total including a dedicated period of up to three months at the end of the research phase for the fellow to focus on impact and development opportunities.


Funding is available for up to 18 months.

How to apply

Further detail of how to apply will be confirmed at full announcement stage.

How we will assess your application

Your application will be assessed by experts from academia, the third sector, data owners, and policy contexts.

Full details on how we will assess your application will be published when the funding opportunity opens.

Contact details

Get help with developing your proposal

For help and advice on costings and writing your proposal please contact your research office in the first instance, allowing sufficient time for your organisation’s submission process.

Ask about this funding opportunity

ADR UK strategic hub


Ask about mentoring


Additional info

Webinars and in-person events

We will also be hosting webinars for the following dataset which will be updated when the funding opportunity launches:

  • Ministry of Justice-Department of Education (MoJ-DfE) dataset: 24 July 2023 3:00pm to 4:30pm, sign up for the MoJ-DfE webinar
  • Longitudinal Education Outcomes (LEO) Iteration 2 dataset (to be confirmed)

The main objective of these events is to share information about updated and new flagship data, and to support prospective applicants to apply for this funding opportunity.

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