Centres and Large Grants

This call is now closed. The following is for information only.

We are pleased to announce the call for outline proposals for our 2014/15 Centres and Large Grants Competition. This competition is aimed at experienced researchers who require longer-term or extended support for research groups, inter-institutional research networks, project-linked programmes, medium-to-large surveys, other infrastructure or methodological developments, or any related larger-scale projects.

The competition is for proposals ranging from £2 million to £10 million (at 100 per cent fEC) with a term of up to five years. It is currently anticipated that the budget for the next round will be £22 million. The ESRC Council expects to make around four awards. Note that proposals will in part be assessed in terms of how much they potentially add value to the ESRC’s existing portfolio, and those that heavily overlap with or duplicate the programmes of existing centres and large grants are unlikely to be successful.


We welcome applications of excellent quality in any area of social science. This year’s competition also has two specific strategic steers, on ‘The Future of Higher Education’ and on ‘Sustainable Prosperity’, which sit alongside the normal open element of the call.

To facilitate the new interdisciplinary relationships and networks that may be required to address the ‘Sustainable Prosperity’ steer, a consortium-building event was held in central London on 28 April 2014. Slides from the introductory talk, setting out the context of the steer within wider ESRC support for the social science of the nexus, have been made available.

Application process

This year’s competition will be run as a two-stage application process. In the first stage, outline proposals should be submitted via the Research Council Joint Electronic Submission (Je-S) System no later than 16.00 on 5 June 2014.

In early August 2014, shortlisted applicants will be invited to submit full proposals by late September 2014. Short-listed proposals will be invited for interview on 14 and 15 January 2015. Funding decisions will be announced in January 2015, and grants are expected to start in October 2015 unless, exceptionally, applicants can make the case for an earlier start.

Detailed guidance on the procedures for completing the outline proposal form is available in the ‘Je-S guidance notes for applicants (outline stage)’ document.

Further information


If you have any questions or would like further information about the scheme, please contact:

General competition

‘Future of Higher Education’ steer

‘Sustainable Prosperity’ steer

For information about the consortium-building event for this steer, please email sustainableprosperity@esrc.ac.uk.