As part of our Future of the UK and Scotland programme of activities we invited the major ESRC research and resource investments to bid for additional funding of up to £200,000 for new work. All of the successful bids will collaborate with other funded ESRC projects including the new Scotland Leadership Fellows, to be announced shortly.
1: A programme investigating the impact of social media discussion threads on public sentiments and opinions towards Scottish independence and other political issues. It will include a number of knowledge exchange events and the development of a database of social media discussion threads for future analysis.
2: A research project uncovering the public's attitudes to Scotland's constitutional future. The project will do so by adding questions on devolution and independence to the 2013 Scottish Social Attitudes Survey.
3: A survey of young Scots focusing on their national identity, political interests and attitudes towards independence. This research is particularly topical since it is likely that the voting age in the referendum will be reduced to 16. The results will be used to inform the independence debate and stimulate debate among young people via the internet and classroom.
A programme using national statistics and international survey data to compare the education systems in the UK's four nations, in order to determine whether different education policies have affected pupil outcomes. The research will inform policy debates on both sides of the border.
Due to a declining population and the need to maintain the skills base, migration is a key issue for the future of Scotland. This research will show how immigration is viewed by employers, and how immigration is viewed differently in Scotland than in England. Recent trends in migration between England and Scotland will be analysed to identify how migration – and in particular student migration - might change after independence, and expert-based projections will estimate how changes to migration might affect Scotland’s population, labour market, and society.
Centre for the Microeconomic Analysis of Public Policy, hosted at the Institute for Fiscal Studies
This research aims to clarify some of the fiscal choices that might face Scotland were it to become independent. The programme will look at the tax options open to an independent Scotland, and will compare Scotland with the other UK countries on issues such as public spending. The researchers will produce a detailed description of Scotland's current fiscal situation and provide long-term fiscal projections for Scotland.
This project will look at migration issues in Scotland by building on and expanding the work and impact of the Migration Observatory, a successful impact project of COMPAS, in a specifically Scottish context. It will provide evidence-based, independent and easily accessible analysis of migration data and issues, as well as opinion polls to inform the independence debate.
This programme of research will assess the relationship between devolved skills policy and reserved employment policy. Scenarios for future policy under further devolution or independence will also be considered, developing new knowledge of the strategic and operational capacities of key stakeholders. A number of knowledge transfer activities will aim to influence policy and debates.
1: A research project assessing what the current level of devolution means in practice for healthcare, and what challenges and benefits it has created. The project will also investigate what benefits and risks stakeholders and professionals believe will result from full independence, and determine the role of a constructed 'imagined community' in the effect independence has on health, wealth, and research.
2: This research will look at how institutions respond to independence movements, and how these responses affect innovation, entrepreneurial and financial capacities. Researchers will conduct an analysis of the Scottish innovation system, with the aim of showing how Scotland can maximize the benefits of greater autonomy and prevent damage to the economy.