We are committed to working towards effective and transparent arrangements for managing demand for our research funding. Our aim is to attract fewer – but higher-quality – applications, so that the best social science can be funded in the most effective way.

Why we do it

Effective demand management processes will:

  • reduce the amount of effort that goes into preparation and submission of unsuccessful applications
  • reduce the burden placed on reviewers
  • reduce administrative effort in both research organisations and ESRC

and ultimately

  • increase success rates.

Our approach

We believe that the best way to manage demand is by working in partnership with research organisations through self-regulation. All applicant organisations should aim both to improve quality and regulate volume across all ESRC schemes, in particular focusing on squeezing out the 'tail' of poor quality applications.

Performance information

We publish raw data and our analysis of overall success rates and other application information.

Reviewing progress

We review progress against our demand management objectives each year.

Proposal quality

We have provided analysis on the quality of proposals being submitted to ESRC, which we aim to use to help us to work effectively with Research Organisations on future demand management and research strategy.