ESRC are pleased to confirm that from 1 January 2020 they will be revising the eligibility criteria for this scheme to remove the four-year time bound criterion. This change is in recognition of the increasing diversity of career paths and trajectories and ESRC’s ambition to be as inclusive and supportive of these as possible.
New Investigator grants will remain a funding opportunity aimed at supporting early career researchers who have yet to make the transition to be an independent researcher, but from January the onus will be on applicants to articulate why they consider themselves to be in that career stage. This could reflect differences across disciplines or fields of research; periods of employment in non-research roles; where applicants are looking to re-skill in new research area; or, where relevant, personal circumstances such as career breaks. Peer reviewers will be directed to consider that justification when they assess applications.
This justification will need to be included in an attachment to proposals submitted from 1 January onwards. If you are in the process of developing an ESRC New Investigator Grant then please speak with your RDS Funding Development Officer. The updated call guidance will be published in December at the following website: https://esrc.ukri.org/funding/funding-opportunities/new-investigator-grants/