Press releases

Read the latest press releases from ESRC and our major investments. You can access press releases that we have published since 2009.

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Teacher and pupil

Teachers need greater awareness of language disorders

Greater awareness of 'specific language impairment' (SLI) is needed to ensure better outcomes for the 3-6 per cent of UK school children affected by this disability, which may have a greater impact on children than dyslexia.

Prison Cell Windows

Staff-prisoner relationships are key to prison quality

As public sector prisons move towards the thin staffing level model of profit-making institutions, with their high turnover of personnel who are less connected to their occupation, a study funded by the ESRC warns of a potentially detrimental impact on prison quality.

Boy with basket

Breaking the silence on aid workers salaries

Research from a jointly funded project by the ESRC and Department for International Development has been instrumental in setting up a new international Task Force to promote fair wages in aid organisations.


Urban conflict and divided cities

Urban conflict is nothing new in cities like Belfast, Jerusalem and major cities in the Middle East. An international conference at Queens’s University in Belfast explores how cities have been shaped by ethnic, religious and national conflicts.

Homeless Man

Resettlement is a positive move for homeless people

Resettlement services over the last few years have helped many homeless people make positive changes in their lives. The largest study in the UK of the resettlement of single homeless people has found that 81 per cent were still living independently 18 months after being re-housed.

Punters at racecourse

Fifty years on, UK betting shops lure new breed of punters

Fifty years after legalisation, the UK’s betting shops are attracting a new type of customer. This widening appeal may have harmful consequences in terms of problem gambling, argues initial research findings funded by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC)

ESRC logo

ESRC Council appointments

David Willetts, the Minister for Universities and Science, has appointed four new members to the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC).

Smiling mum and daughter

Mum’s the word when it comes to children’s happiness

Young people's satisfaction with their family situation is clearly related to the quality of relationships with parents and especially their mother’s happiness. The research findings come from the first findings from Understanding Society, the world’s largest household panel study managed by the Institute for Social and Economic Research (ISER) at the University of Essex.

Mother and teen daughter

Being a good mum: teens have their say

Just in time for Mother’s Day teens have spoken out on what they consider makes a good mother. The project Young Lives and Times, part of the Timescapes study and funded by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC), reveals how teens view their mums.

Woman holding face

Look at me!

Findings from the project entitled 'Look at me! Images of Women and Ageing' have revealed the complexity of women's feelings about the images of ageing. These findings are presented in various exhibitions in Sheffield, which runs from 9 March to 15 April.

Recycling box

When it comes to the environment, education affects our actions

Data from findings from Understanding Society, the world’s largest household panel survey, show that people with degrees are 25 per cent more likely, on average, than people with no education qualifications to adopt pro-environmental behaviours, at least in terms of paying more for environmentally-friendly products.

Piggy bank

Red Nose Day leads the way for future giving

The Comic Relief appeal achieves a remarkable amount of support with around six million people buying red noses. Donations to this cause have increased five-fold between 1988 when the first Red Nose Day appeal raised £15 million to the £82 million raised on Red Nose Day in 2009.


The better off sleep better

The employed and self-employed enjoy much better sleep than those out of work, according to Understanding Society, the world’s largest longitudinal household study. One in ten people report taking sleeping medication (eg sleeping pills) on three or more nights a week.

Graph up

The UK maintains a positive outlook, despite the recession

A survey of households across the UK taken at the height of the recession in 2009 show 67 per cent of people in full-time work were living comfortably or doing alright and that unemployed people were broadly optimistic about their future prospects.

Happy girl

UK youth are happy after all?

Young people in the UK are very satisfied with their lives with 70 per cent rating themselves as happy or very happy. These are the first findings from Understanding Society, the world’s largest household panel study managed by the Institute of Social and Economic Research (ISER) at the University of Essex.

Father and child

£24 million boost to UK’s biggest study of babies and young children

The largest ever UK-wide study of babies and young children today received a landmark £24.25 million commitment from the Department of Business Innovation and Skills. The 2012 Birth Cohort Study will be the largest ever UK-wide study of babies and young children today.

People and globe

The first steps to Understanding Society

The first findings from the world’s largest study of households are now published. With data on our working lives, relationships, health, finances and neighbourhoods the Understanding Society publication gives an early taste of the social landscape of the UK as the country fell into the deepest recession for 60 years.

Wedding cake couple

The UK is a nation of happy couples

Whether you are married or cohabiting with your partner, the vast majority of couples in the UK are happy in their relationship. Initial findings from Understanding Society show that around 90 per cent of individuals who are living with a partner are happy with their relationship.


Tipping points – the future of the pharmaceutical industry

Research by ESRC's Innogen centre shows that radical reform of the drugs industry regulatory system must be an important part of the solution to ensure a productive and profitable pharmaceutical sector, both globally and in the UK.


Understanding conflict

Researchers at Oxford University will lead an interdisciplinary team of global experts in carrying out field studies and controlled experiments on exploring how ritual contributes to intergroup conflict and violence.


Success for social science in Europe

The largest joint initiative between European funding agencies in social sciences, the Open Research Area Scheme, announces its successful grants. The scheme is a new way of funding for the ESRC, Agence Nationale de la Recherche, Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft and the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research in international research.

New ESRC website

Launch of ESRC's new web portal

The ESRC's new web portal is launched today, Thursday 27 January 2010, with straight to the point easy navigation and dynamic research content on important topics some of the new features. The new website will be the first port of call for anyone interested in the UK’s society and economy.

Recovery Britain cover

ESRC report examines the pathway to economic recovery

A new report released today (Thursday 27 January) by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) provides a snapshot of what we know about our current economic situation and explores what can be learned by looking at evidence from economic and social research.

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