The benefits of collaboration

Knowledge exchange is a two-way process where social scientists and individuals or organisations share learning, ideas and experiences. We are committed to knowledge exchange and encouraging collaboration between researchers and the private, public and civil society sectors. By creating a dialogue between these communities, knowledge exchange helps research to influence policy and practice.

We build partnerships and work collaboratively in a range of ways. Examples of our collaborative activity include:

  • developing strategic partnerships with organisations to ensure we maximise the impact of our activities
  • working with partner organisations to develop and fund major research and capacity building initiatives
  • supporting initiatives to foster direct collaboration between social scientists and other individuals and organisations.

Find out about the benefits of sharing learning, ideas and experiences.

Business, civil society, public service organisations as well as individuals in these organisations can benefit by collaborative working with academic researchers. Through collaboration, partners can learn about each other's expertise, share knowledge and gain an appreciation of different professional cultures. Shared activities can enable partner organisations to engage with academic research to add value, offer insights and influence key issues of concern for policy and practice.

The benefits of such collaborative activities are greatest when considered before the start, and when built into a project, and shouldn’t be considered an add-on at the end of a project.

Business, civil society and public services can directly benefit through knowledge exchange and collaborative working with researchers by:

  • accessing experts and cutting edge research
  • accessing innovative ideas that could improve policy or practice
  • enhancing organisational creativity, performance and productivity

Business, civil society and public services can also collaborate, engage and influence researchers to:

  • inform and influence high quality academic research
  • introduce their understanding of research users and their needs to such research
  • apply evidence based knowledge to important business or policy issues

Funding for knowledge exchange and collaboration

We provides a range of funding opportunities and activities to support collaborative working and knowledge exchange activity:

Knowledge exchange guidance

Collaborating across the Research Councils (Collaborative Research)

Many of our research investments are through collaborations with other Research Councils and research users.

International research

ESRC plays a key international role within the social sciences, collaborating with a wide range of international partners.