ESRC is inviting applications from academics suitably experienced in the social sciences to act as members of our Grants Assessment Panels (GAPs).

About the Panels

The ESRC is the UK’s leading agency for research and training in the social sciences. Our Grants Assessment Panels (GAPs) assess proposals for most responsive mode schemes across the range of ESRC’s activities.

There are currently three Panels organised around a cluster of disciplines with a fourth panel that considers proposals submitted to the Secondary Data Analysis Initiative (SDAI). Between them the Panels cover the whole of ESRC’s disciplinary remit.  

Membership of a GAP is an opportunity to work with other experienced people from across the academic, public, business and civil society sectors to help ensure ESRC funds high quality research with academic, economic and societal impact. Members will also have an opportunity to feed into, and learn about ESRC policy development.

The ESRC Grants Delivery Group (GDG) considers the funding recommendations from the GAPs on behalf of the ESRC Committees and makes the final funding decisions, subject to available budget. The GDG is chaired by a member of the Research Committee. Its other members are the chairs of each of the four GAPs.

Panel membership is drawn from all areas of the social sciences, representing a broad range of expertise, skills and approaches.

New members

We are currently looking for applications specifically in the following disciplinary areas. We have provided details of essential sub-disciplinary focus or breadth of expertise and other desirable expertise:

Human Geography (panel A)

  • Essential: Should have expertise across the Human Geography remit
  • Desirable: Specific expertise in areas such as inequality, migration, environment and climate change would be desirable.

Psychology (panel A) - post 1

  • Essential: Should be a social psychologist with broad expertise covering quantitative and qualitative methods
  • Desirable: Specific expertise in areas such as attitudes, ‘Identity, diversity and inequality’ and ‘Individual differences’ would be desirable

Psychology (panel A) - post 2

  • Essential: Should have a broad expertise across the Psychology remit 
  • Desirable: Specific expertise in behaviour change, developmental psychology and mental health would be desirable.

Sociology/ Social Policy (panel D)

  • Essential: Should have a broad expertise across the sociology and social policy disciplines.
  • Desirable: This post is for Panel D and therefore requires someone with expertise in quantitative methods and secondary data analysis

Education (panel B)

  • Essential: Should have a broad expertise across the sociology and social policy disciplines.
  • Desirable: Specific expertise in primary education and quantitative research methods would be desirable

Education (panel D)

  • Essential: Should have a broad expertise across the sociology and social policy disciplines.
  • Desirable: This post is for panel D and therefore requires someone with expertise in quantitative methods and secondary data analysis

Linguistics (panel B)

  • Essential: Should have broad expertise across the linguistics discipline
  • Desirable: Specific expertise in second language acquisition and/or language processing would be desirable

Socio-legal studies (panel B)

  • Essential: Should have broad expertise across the discipline of socio-legal studies
  • Desirable: Specific expertise in criminology, criminal justice and policing would be desirable

Members are expected to assess an average of 30 applications a year and to meet three times a year (in March, July and November) to make funding recommendations. Meetings will alternate between London and Swindon.

New Chair for Panel D

In addition to the appointment of new members, there is also a vacancy to chair Panel D. Panel D covers the Secondary Data Analysis Initiative.

The Chair does not formally assess applications but has a crucial role in assimilating and summarising the views of Panel members and agreeing an overall score for each application under consideration. They are a member of the GDG which then agrees which of the highest scored applications considered across the Panel are funded.

Applications are welcome from academics of any disciplinary background and are not limited to those with expertise in any specific discipline area. Applicants are rather expected to provide demonstrable evidence of their ability to Chair major multi-disciplinary funding panels. Interviews for shortlisted candidates for the role of Panel Chair will be held in London on 14 June 2017.

The successful applicant will be asked to attend and observe the next meeting of the Grant Assessment Panels on 5 and 6 July 2017 in Swindon.

Key skills (all applicants)

Applications are welcome from academics that can demonstrate:

  • a strong research track record in their field
  • a longstanding experience of peer review
  • a knowledge and experience of working across disciplinary boundaries
  • an appreciation of international collaborative research and agendas
  • an understanding of knowledge exchange and research impact
  • an appreciation of the value and use of different methodological approaches.

Applications are welcomed irrespective of sex, age, colour, ethnic origin, religion, disability or sexual orientation. ESRC will also seek to ensure that the membership of its panels demonstrates a suitable balance of gender and regional spread.

A small honorarium is paid to panel members to recognise the workload and time contributed of members. Travel and subsistence expenses will be reimbursed.

How to apply

Applications should be submitted online no later than 17.00 on 19 May 2017. A short CV (no longer than two A4 pages) should be included. Paper applications will not be accepted.

All applicants will receive acknowledgement of their completed submission.

Applications will be shortlisted internally by a panel of senior officers. Final decisions will be made by the ESRC’s Directors, in conjunction with the GDG.

Successful applicants will be appointed for two years initially, with possible renewal for a further two years. Invitations will be sent to successful candidates in late July/early August and members will be expected to be available for a briefing session on 7 September 2017 in Swindon.