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ESRC Large Grants

Economic & Social Research Council

Grant amount: £1,000,000 - £2,500,000

Deadline: The deadline for this grant has passed

Applicant type: Postdoctoral Researcher Faculty Working Professional

Funding uses: Research

Location of project: Anywhere in the world

Location of residency: United Kingdom

Degree requirements: Applicants must have a completed PhD


The ESRC invites proposals to take forward an ambitious research agenda with the potential to effect significant economic or societal impact. We welcome proposals for standard research projects, large-scale surveys, infrastructure projects, and for methodological developments in any area of the social sciences. We actively encourage interdisciplinarity, both within and beyond the social sciences.

This call provides opportunities for promoting innovation and interdisciplinarity, both within and beyond the social sciences, whilst excellent research within a particular social science discipline is also welcome.

Our expectations are that Large Grants:
  • undertake a programme of ambitious research
  • show strong commitment for the career development of researchers (particularly at early-career stage)
  • make significant contributions to scientific, economic or social impact
  • involve potential users of research
  • take advantage of international collaborative and/or comparative opportunities 

Please note that we have decided to limit the number of applications per institution.

You can learn more about this opportunity by visiting the funder's website.


  • All UK Higher Education Institutions are eligible to receive funds for research, postgraduate training and associated activities.
    • The higher education funding councils for England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland determine whether an organisation meets the criteria to be a Higher Education Institution.
  • Research Institutes for which the Research Councils have established a long-term involvement as major funders are also eligible to receive research funding.
  • Independent Research Organisations (IROs) approved by ESRC are eligible to apply for ESRC funding. 
    • See the list of eligible IROs here.
  • Principal Investigators:
    • Must be based at an organisation eligible for ESRC funding for the duration of the award.
    • It is likely that successful applications will be led by experienced researchers with a well established track record of publication and successful research project delivery. 
  • Co-investigators:
    • Academic researchers (at PhD or equivalent status) from an established overseas research organisation of comparable standing to a UK research organisation will be eligible to be listed as an international co-investigator under the scheme.
    • Applicants from non-HEI organisations, such as businesses/private sector organisations, voluntary and community/third sector organisations or public sector organisations (eg local authorities, government departments) can also be listed as co-investigators. 


  • ESRC actively encourage interdisciplinarity, both within and beyond the social sciences.
  • ESRC positively encourage active collaborations between UK researchers and those in other countries, where this will help to ensure that UK research is at the international leading edge.
  • In addition to knowledge exchange and impact strategiesthat focus on particular user groups and/or specific named beneficiary organisations, public engagement activities, which bring together researchers and the wider public, are also strongly encouraged.


  • Studentships are not eligible under this call.
  • Proposals which substantially overlap with or duplicate existing centres or large grants are unlikely to be successful.