Funding opportunity

Funding opportunity: Undertake UK national coordination of the European Social Survey: rounds 11 and 12

Apply for funding to undertake the UK national coordination of the next two rounds of the European Social Survey (ESS).

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

You can either be an individual or a team.

The full economic cost of your project can be up to £162,500. ESRC will fund 80% of the full economic cost.

Funding is available for up to four years for the duration of rounds 11 and 12.

Who can apply

All UK higher education institutions are eligible to receive funds for research, postgraduate training and associated activities.

The higher education funding councils for England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland determine whether an organisation meets the criteria to be a higher education institution.

Research institutes for which the research councils have established a long-term involvement as major funders are also eligible to receive research funding, from any council.

For specific eligibility criteria, read the ESRC research funding guide.

Independent research organisations approved by ESRC are eligible to apply for ESRC funding.

Check if you are eligible for research and innovation funding.

What we're looking for

We are inviting proposals from individuals or teams to undertake the UK national coordination of the next two rounds of the ESS.

The tasks of the National Coordinator are to:

  • communicate with the Core Scientific Team (CST) and attend three National Coordinator forum meetings per year (two virtual and one in-person)
  • select and liaise with the Survey Agency
  • complete a data management plan and signing a data processor agreement with the ESS ERIC
  • ensure data protection, anonymity and confidentiality and full compliance with the General Data Protection Regulation
  • participate in questionnaire development, translation and pre-testing
  • discuss available sampling frames and sampling procedures with the Sampling and Weighting Expert Panel
  • provide a sampling frame
  • prepare and monitor fieldwork in collaboration with the CST
  • oversee interviewer briefings
  • deposit data and other deliverables to the ESS data archive and communicate with the ESS data archive
  • adhere to national and institutional ethical procedures
  • disseminate ESS findings and methodological outcomes.

The above tasks are detailed in sections 7, 8, 9, 10 and 11 of the ESS round 11 specification.

For all further details and all background information please refer to the full ESS round 11 specification for participating countries (PDF, 2.1MB).

How to apply

You should ensure you are aware of and comply with any internal institutional deadlines that may be in place.

Applying using Je-S

You must apply using the Joint Electronic Submission (Je-S) system.

We recommend you start your application early. You can save completed details in Je-S at any time and return to continue your application later.

When applying select ‘new document’ then:

  • council: ESRC
  • proposal type: research grant
  • scheme: research grants – strategic (ESS0074)
  • call/type/mode: European Social Survey, Round 11 and 12 UK National Coordinator for the UK component of the European Social Survey.

Once you have completed your application, make sure you ‘submit document’.

You can find advice on completing your application in the Je-S handbook.

Read ESRC’s Je-S guidance for applicants (PDF, 274KB) and find out more about how to submit your proposal.

Your host organisation will also be able to provide advice and guidance on completing your application.

ESRC must receive your application by 30 May 2022 at 16:00.

You will not be able to apply after this time. Please leave enough time for your proposal to pass through your organisation’s Je-S submission route before this date.


Your application must include the following attachments.

Case for support

The case for support should be up to 12 pages.

The case for support is the body of the application where you will describe why you have applied for this post and your suitability for the National Coordinator (and the suitability of the team if appropriate). This section should address:

  • the aims and objectives of the National Coordinator in context (in the introduction)
  • how the skills, knowledge and experience of the National Coordinator meets the specification
  • communication and dissemination plans
  • survey implementation
  • how success and positive impact will be achieved and measured.

Please consult the role purpose and duties as described in the full ESS round 11 specification for participating countries (PDF, 2.1MB) and funding specification (PDF, 81KB).

Work plan

The work plan should be one page.

The work plan must be a clear and high-level timeline (or Gantt chart) for the activities to be undertaken relating to funding awarded in this grant.

It should cover any relevant procurement, delivery and evaluation of fieldwork activities undertaken associated with the grant.

Justification for resources

The justification for resources should be up to two pages.

The justification of resources is a two-side A4 statement justifying that the resources requested are appropriate to undertake the research project. It should explain why the resources requested are appropriate for the research proposed, taking into account the nature and complexity of the research proposal.

It should not be simply a list of the resources required, as this is already given in the Je-S form. Where you do not provide an explanation for an item that requires justification, it will be cut from any grant made.

Risk management plan

The risk management plan should be up to one page.

In the risk management plan, you must identify the key high-level risks to delivering the plans described in the case for support and describe your plans for mitigating said risks.

Data management plan

The data management plan should be a maximum of three sides of A4.

It is a requirement of the ESRC research data policy that all applicants planning to generate data as part of their grant must include a data management plan.

The data management plan should be used as an opportunity to describe how the data is going to be managed. For example, primary input into research and first-order results of that research. This starts from planning for research and through the life-cycle of the grant until data is accepted for archiving by the UK data service.

ESRC recognises the importance of research data quality and provenance. Research data generated by ESRC-funded research must be well-managed by the grant holder during the grant period to enable their data to be exploited to the maximum potential for further research.


The CV should be a maximum of two-sides of A4 per person.

A CV for each applicant, named research staff member and consultant must be included. This should include:

  • contact details, qualifications (including class and subject), academic and professional posts held since graduation
  • a list of the most relevant and recent publications
  • a record of research funded by the ESRC and other bodies.

List of publications

Only the bibliography for references cited in the proposal should be attached. Please note publications not cited in the proposal should not be added here. A list of the most relevant and recent publications should be included in the CV.

Final and interim reports

The final and interim reports should be a maximum of three sides of A4.

Principal and co-investigators on current awards must submit a progress report on their current awards with any new proposal which should match their impact and output records on Researchfish.

How we will assess your application

Proposals will be assessed against the specific requirements of the ESS, European Research Infrastructure Consortium (ESS ERIC), as reflected in the full ESS round 11 specification for participating countries.

Assessment criteria

Standard ESRC criteria will be considered.


You must provide a clear work plan with realistic and testable milestones, clear deliverables, convincing strategic management and a high probability of success. Risks to delivery and robust mitigation plans must also be clearly identified.


The proposal must demonstrate the investment’s potential to deliver impact and long-term public benefit with a clear mechanism for how this will be achieved.

Value for money

You must provide reasonable and fully justified costs for the specified project, explain the extent to which the proposal maximises the value-for-money, and how the likely benefits are proportionate to the total costs.


You must explain the ability of the study individual or team to collectively deliver the proposal and whether the individual or team is sufficiently supported by the host organisation.


The proposed investment must support innovation, or the development of innovative practices, in research data collection or data service provision.

Assessment panel

An independent assessment process will be led by the ESRC. Proposals will be assessed by a group of selected experts, encompassing academic and user expertise.

Selected applicants will then be invited to attend an interview, with a panel comprised of selected panel members and representation from the ESRC office. Interviews will take place during the summer of 2022 (June onwards) dependent on the availability of applicants and the panel.

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

Shad Chokdar


Beccy Shipman


Get help with applying through Je-S



01793 444164

Opening times

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Additional info

In 2013, the ESS, a biennial cross-national survey, became a European Research Infrastructure Consortium (ERIC). The ESS ERIC is hosted by the UK with its headquarters at City, University London. The main aims of ESS ERIC are to:

  • chart stability and change in social structure, conditions and attitudes in Europe and to interpret how Europe’s social, political and moral fabric is changing
  • achieve and spread higher standards of rigour in cross-national research in the social sciences, including for example sampling, data collection, reduction of bias and the reliability of questions
  • introduce soundly-based indicators of national progress, based on citizens’ perceptions and judgements of key aspects of their societies
  • undertake and facilitate the training of European social researchers in comparative quantitative measurement and analysis
  • improve the visibility and outreach of data on social change among academics, policymakers and the wider public.

Under the ESS ERIC governance structure, the General Assembly shall have full decision making powers regarding the operations and management of the ESS ERIC.

The General Assembly is assisted in this role by a Scientific Advisory Board, the Methods Advisory Board and a Finance Committee. In addition, the General Assembly will work with ESS ERIC director Rory Fitzgerald, who is based at ESS headquarters. The ESS ERIC director is supported by the Core Scientific Team (CST) and the National Coordinator forum.

The CST includes leading social scientists from six organisations:

  • GESIS Mannheim, Germany
  • NSD Bergen, Norway
  • SCP The Hague, Netherlands
  • University of Leuven, Belgium
  • Universitat Pompeu Fabra, Spain
  • University of Ljubljana, Slovenia.

Meetings of the CST are chaired by the ESS ERIC director.

Members, observers and guests of ESS ERIC have to ensure that the national costs for round 11 can be fully met. This is an obligation for all groups of participating countries.

Supporting documents

ESRC research funding guide

Full ESS round 11 specification for participating countries (PDF, 2.1MB)

Funding specification (PDF, 81KB)

Je-S guidance for applicants (PDF, 274KB)

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