Demand management - listening to your views

25 October 2011

Outcome of the ESRC's demand management consultation

The ESRC remains committed to working towards effective and transparent arrangements for managing the increasing demand for its research funding. Our aim is to fund the best research proposals from the social science community while reducing the number of applications which do not meet our required standards.

We conducted an extensive consultation exercise over the spring and summer 2011, collecting views on what further steps might be taken to manage demand.

The consultation offered four main options: individual researcher sanctions; institutional sanctions; institutional quotas; and charging for the submission of applications.

We were encouraged by the time and effort that the community spent on providing comments on these options. We received a very positive response, including detailed comments from 44 institutions. Read the full results of the consultation.

Respondents supported our desire to avoid the need to take further steps, though the vast majority of respondents judged that the fairest method would be to limit for a certain length of time the applications from researchers who consistently fail to meet our required standards. Given this clear message, it is likely that any further steps will reflect these views.

We remain confident that by working in partnership with HEIs there will be no need to take further steps. There has been a very positive response from institutions to our call for greater self-regulation, and we expect that this will lead to a reduction in uncompetitive proposals.

Learn more about the consultation and initial measures.