As part of ESRC’s strategic priority of transforming productivity in the UK, ESRC are looking to fund between four and six projects that add to the portfolio of research funded by the Strategic Priorities Fund on Productivity.
Projects will be funded between £1 million and £2 million at 100% fEC (ESRC funding at 80%).
Projects should be multidisciplinary and interdisciplinary, providing evidence of intended impact on currently under-researched themes.
Areas that the ESRC expert advisory group identified as particularly under-researched are:
- net-zero and the green economy
- financial markets.
This list is not exhaustive. ESRC would welcome proposals that explore productivity through different and new lenses not covered by existing research projects.
Diversity and productivity
We are interested in proposals looking at diversity and productivity, including:
- how barriers to under-represented population groups in firms affect productivity, and the impact of reducing or eliminating these barriers
- work on how diverse teams and workplaces affect firm performance.
Net-zero, the green economy and productivity
We are interested in research which explores how the shift to a net zero economy impacts productivity, with a view to seeing how growth can be maintained or enhanced through the shift. This includes:
- impacts across firms and sectors – how investment in net zero impacts the productivity of other industries
- the impact of incentives for green growth on energy intensity and productivity.
We are interested in how the risk profiles of institutional and other investors impact investment in innovation and in productivity improvements, including the impact of changes to these profiles over time (for example, in response to changing demographics).
As already stated, the above list is not exhaustive, and ESRC welcomes proposals in other areas, so long as they complement and do not duplicate its current productivity investments.
Proposals should seek to work proactively with policymakers and businesses, focusing efforts on making tangible, real-world impact to productivity in the UK.
ESRC welcomes any methodological approach, whether quantitative, qualitative or mixed methods in nature.
Proposals should seek to complement the current portfolio of productivity research and not overlap with the themes of ongoing ESRC productivity investments. ESRC will not fund:
- research which duplicates ongoing research
- proposals that are deemed to be less than 50% social science
- PhD studentships
- proposals that focus solely on the impact of COVID-19.
Applicants should aim to start from April 2022 and last for three years (36 months).