Responsive mode grant assessment process

Grants Delivery Group (GDG)

The funding recommendations for our research grants, new researchers grant and Secondary Data Analysis Initiative (SDAI) are made by the GDG. The GDG is chaired by an academic member of the council. These funding recommendations are informed by the Grant Assessment Panels.

Funding recommendations of other responsive mode schemes are made by specially constituted commissioning panels.

Grant Assessment Panels (GAPs)

The role of GAPs is to appraise proposals submitted under the responsive mode schemes and classify them by grade according to procedures and criteria approved and overseen by council, which has responsibility for the schemes.

The role of academic panel members is to assess and score the proposals allocated to them in light of the reviewers’ comments and principal investigator’s response to reviewers’ comments, bringing their own expertise to the assessment, rather than simply summarising the peer review.

User panel members comment on proposals and participate in panel discussions, but do not formally score proposals. User members are not restricted to commenting on impact and knowledge exchange considerations, since their expertise may equip them to comment on the substance of the research.

See the panel funding decision data.

GAP members

Membership of the GAPs is predominantly academic, although each panel has a number of non-academic or ‘user’ members. Appointments to the panels are normally for two years in the first instance, with the probability of renewal for a further two-year term.

Members of the ESRC GAPs.

GAP structure

The GAPs are multidisciplinary bodies comprising 55 to 65 members in total. There are three GAPs organised around clusters of disciplines, and a fourth for the SDAI. The panels meet three times a year in March, July and November.

Panel composition from November 2016

Panel A
  • Demography
  • Environmental Planning
  • Human Geography
  • Psychology
  • Statistics and Computing and Methodologies
Panel B
  • Education
  • Linguistics
  • Social Work
  • Science and Technology Studies
  • Socio-Legal Studies
  • Sociology
Panel C
  • Area and Development Studies
  • Economic and Social History
  • Economics
  • Management and Business Studies
  • Political Science and International Relations
  • Social Anthropology
  • Social Policy
Panel D
  • Secondary Data Analysis

GDG and GAP general enquiries


Last updated: 17 October 2023

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