Developing research skills in the social sciences

The Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) is developing a new approach to support research skills in the social sciences.

Our new approach

Our new approach will:

  • make it easier for social scientists to access research skills training
  • support training providers to deliver relevant research skills training
  • have the infrastructure in place to respond to future research skills needs and challenges
  • draw upon the expertise available across our portfolio
  • enable a culture of lifelong learning with targeted support for researchers at all career stages
  • evolve over time to have impact beyond the social sciences

Why we are making changes

We want to create a research environment where:

  • social scientists have the research skills they need
  • researchers can develop their research skills at any point in their career
  • research skills training is developed collectively
  • responsive research skills training is available today and in the future

We have produced a synthesis of the evidence that informed development of the new approach.

What we are doing

New research skills strategic leadership hub

We are commissioning a strategic leadership hub to support our new approach. The hub will:

  • work with training and capacity building providers to make sure training is relevant for different career stages
  • support the development, availability and accessibility of training
  • create partnerships and networks to coordinate the research skills training and address any gaps
  • work with the social science community to promote the importance of research skills and improve access and provision

Funding opportunity

The funding opportunity for the new research skills strategic leadership hub was published in June 2024. The strategic hub will develop, structure and facilitate research skills training. The work will be done in collaboration with the research community. Funding is due to start in autumn 2025.

Last updated: 26 June 2024

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