Public services


Access research-related news and information about public services. You can read our latest research outputs, features, case studies and other relevant content.


Investment per year

Year Funding Amount


Most recent grants

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Support for carers of people with early onset dementia

Professor Heather Gage | 31 March 2014

Research to assess policies and strategies for dementia in the young (rhapsody) aims primarily to analyse the health and social care systems and infrastructures available to the severely burdened yet underserved group of people with young onset demen ...

Social media analysis for social geography

Professor Paul Watson | Social Geography | 14 February 2014

Many believe that social media data has the potential to give real insights into communities. However, there is a real challenge in unlocking this knowledge due to the enormous size and speed with which the data is generated, and a lack of understand ...

Smart data analytics for business and local government

Professor Vania Sena | Environmental Informatics | 31 January 2014

The esrc data research centre for smart analytics is a collaborative project between the universities of essex (lead partner), east anglia, and kent; its objectives are to  provide a facility where big data from businesses and local government a ...

Urban big data

Professor Piyushimita (Vonu) Thakuriah | Urban Geography | 30 January 2014

The urban big data research centre (ubdrc) will provide a unique facility for researching complex and cross-cutting urban issues such as transport, employment, migration, housing, education and social exclusion. The centre will bring together an inte ...


Most recent outputs

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Dual regression

Richard Spady | 23 April 2014 | Social Stats., Comp. & Methods | Seminar/workshop

Workshop on semi-parametric econometrics

Defining antitrust markets

Lars Nesheim | 23 April 2014 | Social Stats., Comp. & Methods | Book chapter

Chapter in "international handbook of competition"

Empirical evidence and tax reform’

Richard Blundell | 23 April 2014 | Social Stats., Comp. & Methods | Journal article

Advances in economics and econometrics: theory and applications

Case Studies

Most recent case studies

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Project management toolsets improved policing

Case Study | 30 October 2013 | Business, General public, Press/media, Public sector

New project management toolsets developed with the esrc-funded transformation project helped warwickshire police launch new automatic number plate recognition schemes on time and budget – targeting vehicle-based criminality and solving a string of ...

Reforming the portuguese vat system

Case Study | 15 April 2013 | General public, International, Policymakers, Press/media

Recommendations by professor rita de la feria led to reforms implemented in the portugal’s 2012 state budget which boosted the efficiency of tax and generated savings of 1. 2 per cent gdp.

Social science impact on the sure start initiative

Case Study | 15 June 2012 | Academic, Business, General public, Higher education, Policymakers, Public sector, Schools

Social science underpinned by esrc support played a major role in establishing and delivering the government's sure start initiative in 1999, which aimed to provide integrated early years services for disadvantaged groups.

Using research in family support

Case Study | 19 November 2008 | Business, General public, Policymakers, Press/media, Public sector

A knowledge transfer partnership with wakefield family services encouraged a culture shift towards using research to improve effectiveness, and the implementation of research governance framework procedures.

Quality in staff performance

Case Study | 25 October 2007 | General public, Public sector

A knowledge transfer partnership between bath and north east somerset primary care trust and the university of bath has helped to develop improved performance management systems for staff, along with new management training courses.

Reduced costs for patient transport

Case Study | 12 October 2006 | General public

A knowledge transfer partnership between york hospitals nhs trust and manchester business school is expected to produce substantial savings in patient transport - over â£120k annually in contract costs and over â£200k in ad-hoc transport.

Training junior doctors

Case Study | 17 April 2006 | Academic, General public, Press/media, Public sector, Voluntary sector

A ktp partnership based at plymouth hospitals nhs trust established training practices for junior doctors and spearheaded the local medical workforce skills mix analysis group - leading to a successful bid for â£106k from the strategic change fund.

Effective operating theatres

Case Study | 15 April 2003 | Academic, Business, General public, Press/media, Public sector

More efficient scheduling led to estimated cost savings of over â£400,000 a year at the manchester royal infirmary by enabling 700 extra operations to be performed each year, reducing cancellations and over-runs.


Most recent features

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Reduced workforce could reshape the public sector

Feature | 14 February 2014 | General public, Press/media, Public sector

Ifs research shows that the nature of the uk labour market could be dramatically transformed within the next five years if proposed reductions in general government employment were to be fully realised.

Privatised rail: public profit or public loss?

Feature | 07 June 2013 | Business, General public, Press/media, Public sector

The privatised rail system relies upon billions of pounds of hidden subsidies from the tax payer and has failed to bring in private investment, according to research from the esrc centre for research on socio-cultural change.

Rethinking pensions

Feature | 30 May 2013 | Business, General public, Policymakers, Press/media

Six in ten people over the age of 50 in the uk have not considered how they will finance their retirement years – and a third of people approaching retirement do not know how much income they will receive from their private pensions, according to r ...

The economic legacy of mrs thatcher

Feature | 09 April 2013 | General public, Policymakers, Press/media

Nicholas crafts, professor of economics and economic history at the university of warwick and director of the esrc centre for competitive advantage in the global economy, examines how the economic policies of the thatcher era affected the uk economy. ...

Fuelling growth with public investments

Feature | 07 March 2013 | Business, General public, Policymakers, Press/media

Professor david newberry argues that public investment in the right areas will fuel uk economic growth - with the short-term impact of giving work to domestic private companies who will create jobs.

Ifs green budget: spending cuts now or tax rises later

Feature | 06 February 2013 | Business, General public, Policymakers, Press/media, Public sector, Schools

More government borrowing and public sector job cuts, as tax rises are on the horizon, warns the ifs green budget.

Invest in skills, infrastructure and innovation, says growth commission

Feature | 31 January 2013 | Academic, Business, General public, Policymakers, Press/media, Schools

Investing in human capital, improving the national infrastructure, improving finance provision for private investment and innovation, and the creation of an independent national growth council are key recommendations in the final report from the lse ...

Tracing the lives of missing persons

Feature | 25 September 2012 | General public, Press/media, Schools

A new esrc-funded project chronicles the stories of those who choose to disappear and become a missing person. The findings will be used to train police, inform government policy and design services to support those who disappear and their families.

Putting toilets on the map with open data

Feature | 30 July 2012 | Academic, General public, Press/media, Public sector, Schools

The great british public toilet map has been developed as part of an esrc-funded research project tackling ageing continence through theory tools and technology (tact3), automatically tracking councils' open data on public toilet facilities and displ ...

Press Releases

Most recent press releases

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New team to navigate local government

Press Release | 22 March 2013 | Academic, Policymakers

The economic and social research council (esrc) is delighted to announce the appointment of a new local government navigator team. Building relationships, raising the profile of social science research and identifying opportunities for collaboration ...

Social exclusion among shift workers and older people

Press Release | 14 December 2011 | Academic, Business, General public, Policymakers, Press/media, Voluntary sector

Older people and those who work non-standard hours are less likely to feel integrated into society, according to a study funded by the economic and social research council (esrc)

Localism is doomed unless whitehall can change

Press Release | 10 November 2011 | Academic, Business, General public, Policymakers, Press/media, Public sector

The government’s commitment to ‘localism’ is likely to fail unless whitehall departments can shed a deep-rooted culture of centralism, a new study suggests.

What does scottish independence really mean?

Press Release | 21 July 2011 | Academic, Business, General public, International, Policymakers, Press/media, Public sector

Following the victory of the scottish national party (snp) in the recent scottish elections on may 5, a unique in-depth survey of the entire snp membership conducted throughout 2008, funded by the economic and social research council (esrc), reveals ...

Graphic partnership brings life to council data

Press Release | 14 July 2010 | General public, Press/media, Public sector

Data visualisation techniques that generate sophisticated graphics could bring a fresh dimension to communications and decision-making by public bodies like local councils, according to research completed for the economic and social research council ...

Performance reviews are raising council standards, say researchers

Press Release | 18 October 2009 | Press/media, Public sector

Performance assessment schemes aimed at making local authorities into more effective organisations are having the desired effect, according to new research released by the economic and social research council (esrc).

Scottish public sector - new leadership needed for new times says esrc report

Press Release | 04 June 2009 | Policymakers, Press/media, Public sector

A fresh approach to public sector leadership is vital if the scottish government's vision of a more successful country is to realised - especially given challenges such as the current financial situation and a general loss of trust in leaders - accor ...