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ESRC: Centres and Large Grants competition

ESRC: Centres and Large Grants competition

The ESRC have announced a call for outline proposals for their 2013/14 Centres and Large Grants competition. This competition is for experienced researchers requiring longer term or extended support for research groups, inter-institutional research networks, project-linked research programmes, medium-to-large surveys, other infrastructure or methodological developments, or any related larger scale projects.

The ESRC is open to applications from all topics, especially from interdisciplinary perspectives, and has highlighted other emerging topics in appendix 1 of the call document. However, the ESRC has announced a strategic steer on Civil Society for this call (for further details see appendix 2 of the full call document). We expect that the highest number of the eight expected awards will be in this topic. For details on other ESRC priority areas see:

The competition is for applications ranging from £2 million to £10 million (at 100 per cent full economic cost, with the ESRC providing 80% of this cost).  It is expected that up to eight new Centres/Large Grants will be funded under the competition. Although applications may be based in one institution, the ESRC expects that they will draw together researchers from across the UK and can also include international co-investigators. The ESRC also expects strong institutional commitment and practical contribution to hosting a Centre or Large Grant.

Full details of this call are available here:

Internal selection

The ESRC have indicated that they “will be looking closely at both the volume and quality of applications institutions submit” and whether strong institutional commitment “can be maintained across more than one application”. In order to comply with the ESRC’s policy on demand management, this call will be coordinated by the University’s ESRC Strategy Group, which comprises members of departments receiving ESRC funding. Anyone interested in applying for this call should send an expression of interest to Dr Daniel Wunderlich (, 01223 761365) and copy to their Head of Department and their School Office by noon on Monday 29 April 2013.

Expressions of Interest should be a maximum of 2 sides of A4 and cover the following details:

(i)                  ESRC criteria  ‘What we expect from Centres and Large Grants’ (see call specification p2)

(ii)                Further details of:

a.       Potential partners and co-funding opportunities
b.      Suggestions for institutional commitment or parallel activity to maximise the impact of the Centre/large grant
c.       Details of the management structure and organisation
d.      Details of career opportunities built into the activity for postdocs and students (noting that studentships can be held only on an accredited DTC pathway)
e.      Proposals for collaboration with existing ESRC research projects

(iii)               Please explain why this might be a top strategic priority for the Social Sciences at Cambridge

Anyone interested in applying is encouraged to contact Dr Wunderlich for assistance at every stage of the process.

If a large number of bids are received by the Strategy Group, a selection will be made by the Restricted Bids Selection Committee, according to the University’s Restricted Calls Procedure (, from a shortlist drawn up by the Strategy Group.

Successful applicants will be asked to work with the University’s ESRC peer review committee to complete their applications in time for the deadline.

Funder deadline: 22 May 2013 (16:00)

Dr Rhys Morgan
Research Strategy Office
University of Cambridge
The Old Schools
Trinity Lane
Cambridge CB2 1TT
01223 332263

Posted on 19/04/2013

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