ESRC Changes to Research Grants funding thresholds

ESRC are introducing changes to the funding thresholds for their Research Grants scheme. They currently accept applications between £200,000 and £2 million. Under the new arrangements the lower threshold will rise to £350,000 and the upper threshold will be reduced to £1 million at Full Economic Costs. These changes will come into effect from 1 July 2015. Current thresholds will continue to operate for any application submitted up to 30 June 2015.

To find out more about why these changes have been introduced, click here.

The ESRC has not withdrawn from the funding of projects under £350,000. They remain committed to schemes with projects below this threshold, such as the Secondary Data Analysis Initiative, the Transformative Research scheme, and – for Early Career Researchers – their Future Research Leaders scheme, where there is no lower limit on funding. All these schemes are essentially responsive mode, like the Research Grants Scheme.

They also remain committed to the funding of longer, larger responsive grants. They intend to introduce an annual open competition for grants between £1 million and £2.5 million and are currently considering how this will operate alongside our existing Centres and the Large Grants Competition.

They anticipate that these changes will reduce the volume of applications they receive through the Research Grants scheme. This will increase overall success rates for those who do apply as well as reducing the peer review requirements they need to place on the social science community.

If you are thinking of applying to the ESRC then please contact the Funding Development Team.