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ESRC Update Professor Paul Boyle, Chief Executive, ESRC.

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1 ESRC Update Professor Paul Boyle, Chief Executive, ESRC

2 Introduction

3 ESRC ▶ The major public sector funder of social science research and post graduate training in the UK ▶ Non-Departmental Public Body, established in 1965, largely funded through the Department of Business Innovation and Skills (BIS) ▶ Key Principles: – Quality – Impact – Independence

4 Economic and Societal Impact ▶ ESRC supports excellent research that has impact ▶ Creating, assessing and communicating impact is central to all our activities – Pathways to impact – Impact toolkit ▶ Research Excellence Framework (20% for impact)

5 Distribution of ESRC Funding 2011/12

6 Funding ▶ Budget for 2012/13 is £200m (BIS allocation of £179m) ▶ CSR 2010 – 2% cut in real terms to Programme budget – 23% cut in real terms to Administration budget ▶ Need to continue to make strong arguments for social science research in the next CSR ▶ Importance of continuing to invest in the future: – Long-term infrastructure – Next generation of research leaders – Research areas of major national importance

7 ESRC Funding Opportunities

8 International Collaboration ▶ Embed international in all we do – International Co-Investigators ▶ Work with European partners – Open Research Area (ESRC, NOW, DFG, ANR – now NSF) ▶ Strengthen collaborations with key partner countries – 3 RCUK teams (US, India and China) ▶ Influence Horizon 2020 – Ensure social scientists contribute to all societal challenges ▶ Extend our successful partnerships with DfID

9 7 Research Councils and RCUK

10 ▶ Social Science is embedded in all six cross-Council programmes ▶ ESRC leads – Global Uncertainties RCUK Programmes

11 Partnerships and Collaboration ▶ Collaboration with private, public and third-sector bodies through co-funding of research and people exchange – Attract around £20m of additional co-funding each year – Co-production ensures research is better placed to inform policy and practice ▶ Private sector prioritised for increased engagement and co-funding – Focus initially on financial services, green business and retail – ESRC-led partnerships

12 Refreshing the Strategic Priorities

13 2011 Delivery Plan ▶ Economic Performance and Sustainable Growth ▶ Influencing Behaviour and Informing Interventions ▶ Vibrant and Fair Society ▶ Contributions to all 6 RCUK challenges and TSB ▶ Building social science capability Refresh February 2013 ▶ What have we achieved and which gaps need to be filled? ▶ How can we respond to urgent but unpredictable scientific opportunities?

14 Economic Performance and Sustainable Growth In 2011 Council committed to making new investments in: Entrepreneurship- Achieved as Enterprise Research Centre; BIS, BBA, ESRC £2.9 m, lead: University of Warwick Rising Powers-Achieved as third phase of Rising Powers Programme £6m, 12 projects Macro-economics-Achieved as Centre for Macroeconomics, £3.9 m lead: LSE (also international symposium) Risk-Achieved as Systemic Risk Centre, £3.8 m lead: LSE and Centre for Study of Risk and Ambiguity £3.4 m lead: Exeter Global distribution of-Achieved as ESRC/DFID growth programme, Economic PerformanceVenture, £9.9 m, 18 projects 5 of 5 targets met

15 Expenditure across ESRC’s portfolio 13

16 15 Expenditure across ESRC’s portfolio

17 Putting it Together Strategic PriorityGapSmart Potential Cross Council Business/ TSB International Partnering Economic Performance and Sustainable Growth Business Innovation *** Housing * Future Cities *** Green Economy *** Local Economic Growth * * New Macro Economics * Financial Markets ** Influencing Behaviour and Informing Interventions Health Inequalities * * Crime Epigenetics * * Educational Neuroscience * * Innovation in Healthcare *** A Vibrant and Fair SocietyCivil Society, Social Innovation, Civic Participation * Human Rights, Diversity * * Education – Developing Countries, Higher Education * Social Media ** Democratic Renewal Building Social Science CapacityBig Data * ** Evidence, What Works * * * N.B. Europe! 24

18 Capacity Building

19 National Capability ▶ Providing support across all stages of the career ▶ Opportunities for early and mid-career – Doctoral Training Centres – Future Research Leaders and Research Grants ▶ Opportunities for senior and established researchers – Professorial Fellowships and larger schemes ▶ Opportunities for all researchers through ESRC grants schemes, and training through NCRM and RDI

20 Doctoral Training Centres ▶ 21 DTCs – our main capacity building vehicle ▶ First cohorts started in October 2011 ▶ 645 awards made in year 1, and 753 in year 2 ▶ First and final year conferences for ESRC PhD students ▶ Tailored initiatives to: –Concentrate studentships in strategic areas (e.g. AQM and economics) –Expand collaboration with public, private and civil society organisations through internships and collaborative activities –Utilise and build upon existing or emerging international links –Develop an Advanced Training Network

21 Advanced Training Network ▶ Integrated network of advanced training for all postgraduate researchers, not only those funded by ESRC – Consultation to identify gaps in provision – Additional training commissioned later in the year – All postgraduate researchers can register for any of these courses, at a maximum cost of £30 per day

22 DTC Lessons Learned ▶ Training and Skills Committee is currently carrying out a ‘lessons learned’ exercise – ESRC expects studentships to be awarded on the basis of excellence – Balance between +3 and 1+3 studentships – Success of securing co-funding ▶ Progress on these matters will be considered when decisions around re-commissioning are being made ▶ ESRC encourages DTC Directors to work together to develop best practice

23 Infrastructure

24 UK Strategy for Data Resources for Social and Economic Research ▶ The ‘national data strategy’ was first published in 2007, updated in 2009, and being refreshed for 2013 ▶ Owned by the UK Data Forum ▶ Priorities and recommendations include: – Improved data linkage – Develop partnerships and collaborative work – Explore customer databases and international partnerships ▶ ESRC Data infrastructure led by the new UK Data Service (UKDS) – Access to census and other datasets and a new website

25 Capital Funding ▶ Chancellor’s Autumn Statement included £600m for science, research and innovation, £484m for RCUK – Funds to support the development of innovative technologies across eight areas, including ‘big data’ – Draws from RCUK Strategic Framework for Capital Investment (published Nov 2012) – ESRC earmarked £64m to support packages of activity within the ‘big data’ theme

26 Administrative Data Taskforce ▶ Jointly established by the ESRC, MRC, Wellcome Trust, chaired by Sir Alan Langlands ▶ 5 recommendations – Administrative Data Research Centres (ADRCs) should be established in each country of the UK – Legislation should be enacted to facilitate research access to administrative data (generic legal gateway) – Researcher accreditation process and training – Strategy for engaging with the public – Funds to support access to and linkage between data

27 Business Datasafe ▶ National resource for analysing business dynamics, drawing upon a wide range of previously unavailable and disparate data sources ▶ From organisational surveys to customer databases (e.g. store cards, utilities data, banking transactions, mortgage details, etc.) ▶ Enable new analysis that informs broad understanding of economic growth, organisational efficiency, productivity, employment relations, organisational finance, investment, health and wellbeing at the workplace…..

28 Understanding Populations ▶ Opportunities to capitalise on existing data assets ▶ ESRC funds world leading longitudinal studies: – British Household Panel Study & Understanding Society – English Longitudinal Study, Scottish LS & N. Ireland LS – Birth cohorts (1958, 1970, Millennium Cohort) and Life Study – English Longitudinal Study of Ageing (ELSA) and other ageing studies ▶ Further collection of a wide variety of biomarkers and the genotyping of existing DNA samples

29 Social Media Research ▶ Social media is distinctive in capturing user-generated data from populations ▶ Social media analytics represent an opportunity to invest in large scale social research – A Centre comprising a network of nodes across participating countries, with a coordinating hub – Workshop in May 2013 to discuss Centre structure and aims/objectives – Call likely to be announced in September 2013

30 New Schemes

31 Building QM Capacity ▶ £15.5 million funding programme with Nuffield Foundation and HEFCE – Promoting a step-change in quantitative methods training for UK social science undergraduates – Centres of excellence that will provide cohorts of students capable of filling the quantitative skills gap among postgraduates – Possibility of new 4-year social science degrees

32 The Future of the UK and Scotland ▶ Objective evidence on the effects of Scottish independence ▶ Phase 1 – 7 one-year Professorial Fellowships – 10 research projects based at major ESRC investments – Conference event, May 2013, to inform the debate – Research Coordinator ▶ Phase 2 – Potential research initiative, examining medium term impacts

33 What Works ▶ National, co-ordinated initiative that seeks to strengthen the use of evidence for policy and practice ▶ Worked with Cabinet Office to establish ‘What Works’ centres – Local economic growth (call opens March 25 th ) – Ageing – Crime and policing – Re-offending – Early intervention (Education Endowment Foundation)

34 Transformative Research ▶ ESRC-funded research tends to be incremental ▶ Want to encourage greater innovation – next big ‘transformative’ ideas in social science – ROs receiving over £100k of ESRC funding, 2011/12 – 66 applications; panel shortlisted 32 – ‘Pitch to Peers’ workshop (March) – Supporting 20 awards, from June 2013 ▶ Re-launching the transformative potential of existing schemes

35 Engaging with Retail ▶ ESRC is continuing to increase its engagement with retail sector ▶ Retail Navigators – Nottingham Business School – Facilitating better communication between social science researchers and retailers ▶ Data Navigators – Demographic Decisions Ltd – Data infrastructure of mutual interest to researchers and retailers (e.g. store card data)

36 Impact Prize ▶ Annual prize (£10,000) for achieving economic /societal impact – Business – Public Policy – Society – International – Early Career – Impact Champion of the Year ▶ 2 applications have been shortlisted in each category

37 Large Grants and Centres ▶ Call due to be launched shortly ▶ Likely to fund up to 8 awards – more than ever before ▶ Total budget likely to be doubled to £10 million ▶ We want to see: – Ambitious bids – Improved quality bids – More cross-institutional bids, bringing the very best together

38 ‘Priority Networks’ ▶ Mechanism for Centre/Large Grant applications – Small group of projects – Usually with existing relationships between researchers – Coordinator selected from within the group ▶ Evaluation show strengths include high levels of collaboration and coordination ▶ Recent example: ‘Network for Integrated Behavioural Science’ (Nottingham, Warwick and UEA) ▶ Scale: not ‘scattergun’ large Programme approach

39 Other Funding Opportunities ▶ EU Joint Programme - Neurodegenerative Disease Research (JPND) EU Joint Programme - Neurodegenerative Disease Research (JPND) ▶ Coordinator for the Retail Sector Initiative Coordinator for the Retail Sector Initiative ▶ Strategic Advisors for Data Resources Strategic Advisors for Data Resources ▶ DFID-ESRC Growth Research Programme - call 2 DFID-ESRC Growth Research Programme - call 2 ▶ Retail Knowledge Exchange Opportunities Retail Knowledge Exchange Opportunities ▶ UK Drought and Water Scarcity (NERC website) UK Drought and Water Scarcity (NERC website) ▶ Digging into Data round 3 Digging into Data round 3

40 Operational Issues

41 Demand Management ▶ Over last five years we have seen a 33% increase in the number of applications ▶ No additional funding available leading to fall in success rates (research grants scheme 13%) ▶ Burden on researchers, reviewers, universities and the ESRC ▶ We expect to see individuals and HEIs demonstrate that they are improving self-regulation

42 Demand Management ▶ To help meet these expectations we have… – Provision of performance data to individuals and institutions – Developed good practice guidelines – Invited-only resubmissions policy with associated guidance – Reduced external peer review burden (greater use of outline applications; reduced referee thresholds) – More tightly specified calls on managed mode schemes (e.g. Centres and Large Grants competition) – RCUK harmonising demand management measures

43 Demand Management Progress ▶ Results include: – 37% drop in application volume – Increase in overall success rates from 17% to 24% – Signs of improvements in the quality of applications – Reduction of around 20% in peer review requirements

44 Open Access ▶ RCUK policy on Open Access from 1 st April ▶ RCUK definition of Open Access – Peer reviewed papers that acknowledge RC funding – Gold preferred, but green (6 / 12 months) also supported – CC-BY license ▶ Additional funding (£10m + £17m year 1) to support this activity ▶ Journey, not an event (5 years) ▶ Part of an international revolution

45 Open Access

46 Triennial Review ▶ Review of the Research Councils, conducted by BIS, taking place over 6 months from January 2013 ▶ Two stage review process – Stage 1 (Jan–March): Assess the need for Research Councils – Stage 2 (Apr–June): Examine RC structure and governance ▶ Consultation of a wide range of stakeholders, on – How structure contributes to delivery of functions – Relationship between RCs and other stakeholders – Relationship between RCs and ‘customers’

47 ▶ May 2012, over 1286 ESRC-related media stories ▶ Twitter followers increased 200% to over 6,000 from 2,000 in 2011 ▶ ESRC videos viewed over 9,000 times in 2011, from 830 in 2010 ▶ Britain In magazine (2011 won 2 nd prize in International Content Marketing Awards) Communication Highlights

48 ESRC’s Contacts ▶ Committees/Council Secretaries: – Nigel Bird, Audit Committee – Vicki Crossley, Council – Vicki Crossley, Evaluation Committee – Paul Meller, Methods and Infrastructure Committee – Michelle Dodson, Research Committee – Dawn Woodgate, Training and Skills Committee

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