We are pleased to announce the fourth round of the ESRC Transformative Research Call. The aim of this call is to provide a stimulus for genuinely transformative research ideas at the frontiers of the social sciences, enabling research which challenges current thinking to be supported and developed.

We regard transformative research as that which involves, for example, pioneering theoretical and methodological innovation. The expectation is that the transformative research call will encourage novel developments of social science enquiry, and support research activity that entails an element of risk.

Successful applicants will receive a grant of up to £250,000 (at 100% full economic cost (fEC)) for projects of up to 24 months in duration. ESRC will meet 80% of the full economic costs on successful proposals

Anonymous Case for Support documents will initially be assessed by a Commissioning Panel of relevant experts from the academic community. Shortlisted applicants will then be invited to pitch their proposal at a 'Pitch to Peers' workshop. The principal investigator must be able to attend the 'Pitch to Peers' event in order to apply to this call. It is expected that this event will take place in April 2018. Funding decisions will be made immediately following the workshop and communicated to applicants shortly afterwards.

How to apply

As in previous rounds, the number of proposals a Research Organisation can submit will be limited. A maximum of two applications can be accepted from each eligible Research Organisation. Proposals should be pre-selected by the Research Organisation and will need to be approved and submitted on Je-s by 16:00 on 7 November 2017.

We intend to support approximately 10-12 transformative awards, depending on the quality of the proposals received.

Grants supported under this call must start no later than 1 September 2018.

Call documents

Key dates

  • Call for proposals announced - 11 July 2017
  • Closing date for proposals - 7 November 2017
  • Sift Panel meeting - w/c 26 February 2018
  • Invitations of shortlisted applicants to Pitch to Peers Workshop - w/c 5 March 2018
  • Pitch to Peers workshop - mid April 2018
  • Communicate decisions - third week in April 2018
  • Grant begins - July-September 2018