eNews June 2012

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eNews June 2012

New Council member announced 

David Willetts, the Minister of State for Universities and Science, has appointed Martin Rosenbaum as a new Council member to the ESRC. Martin Rosenbaum is an executive producer in the BBC Political Programmes department, overseeing a variety of radio programming including Radio 4’s The Week in Westminster, Decision Time and Four Thought. Mr Rosenbaum has been appointed to Council for three years from 1 August 2012 to 31 July 2015.

Funding opportunities

  • ESRC-PIC Masters Studentship Scheme in population studies
  • Belmont Forum and G8HORCS International Opportunities Fund
  • SAMS-UKCES-ESRC Management and Business Development Fellowship scheme
  • Enterprise Research Centre
  • Design for wellbeing: ageing and mobility in the built environment

More funding opportunities

Dementia Initiative

The ESRC and the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) will be working together to support an initiative with up to £13 million funding available for social science research on dementia. A meeting for potential applicants is being organised for late June 2012, with an outline call launch at the start of July.

Final year student conference

Our first conference for final year students is being hosted by the University of Birmingham on 18 July 2012.

For further details of this event please check our website.

International Benchmarking Review: Human Geography

The ESRC, in partnership with the Royal Geographical Society (with the IBG) and the Arts and Humanities Research Council, has commissioned an international panel to review the standing of UK human geography.

The findings will be publicly available and will make recommendations to ESRC as well as the academic community.

Advanced Training Network Consultation

We recently launched our new Advanced Training Network with the aim of creating an integrated, national network of advanced training.

A consultation is now open to assess any training gaps in the network. See our website for further details.

Third Sector knowledge portal

The Third Sector Research Centre (TSRC) has launched its knowledge portal. The portal is a new online database, bringing together research and information on the voluntary, community and social enterprise sectors.

Latest research features

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'Seven Days' video series

Using the different days of the ‘Monday’s child’ nursery rhyme, this series of videos and related research focuses on seven particular research areas, presenting new findings and insights.

'Planet and people' video series

We have produced five videos highlighting how social sciences are contributing to environmental research. The case studies, ranging from carbon cuts to car use, have been published to coincide with the Rio+20 conference.

Release of final score information

We recently began releasing peer review grades to applicants as well as feedback comments. In a effort to increase transparency, we now intend to release more detailed information to individuals on their final score and publish funding cut-off scores for individual calls.

New appointment to UK Birth Cohort Study

Alissa Goodman has been appointed as Professor of Economics and Deputy Director of the UK Birth Cohort Study at University College London, a post which has been created jointly by the ESRC and UCL. Professor Goodman will be based at the UCL Institute of Child Health.

Latest publications

Our evidence briefings highlight research findings and their relevance in key policy areas.


  • 28 June: Working with the grassroots: learning from community organisers, community development and community engagement
  • 2-5 July: 5th ESRC Research Methods Festival
  • 3 July: Hearing uncomfortable messages: volunteering as activism/dissidence
  • 12 July: Exploring the use of visual media in the communication of research

More events


Professor Judith Rees, Director of the Centre for Climate Change Economics and Policy has been voted in as the first female president of the Royal Geographical Society.

Queen's Birthday Honours

Social scientists honoured this year are:

  • Professor David Newbery (CBE)
  • Professor Ian Hargreaves (CBE)
  • Professor Peter Taylor-Gooby (OBE)
  • Ms Sally Reynolds (OBE)
  • Professor Jeffrey Weeks (OBE)
  • Professor Ann Buchanan (MBE)
  • Mr Andrew Minnion (MBE)

eNews July 2012

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eNews July 2012

Annual Report 2011-12     

This has been another year of change for the ESRC as we focused our activities to deliver the research priorities announced in our Delivery Plan 2011-15. Working with the academic community we have achieved a great deal, maximising the impact of social science research on society.

Read the full report, available to download in PDF format.

Funding opportunities

  • SAMS-UKCES-ESRC Management and Business Development Fellowship scheme
  • Enterprise Research Centre
  • Design for wellbeing: ageing and mobility in the built environment
  • Dementia initiative
  • Future Research Leaders

More funding opportunities

Student internships

We have launched the third round of the 2011-2012 Student Internship Scheme.

We also have several one year internships available within the ESRC.

Festival evaluation

The evaluation of the 2011 Festival of Social Science is now available. Highlights include over 17,500 people attending 131 events around the UK, with 213 mentions of the Festival and events in the media.

Seven Days publication

The ESRC publication 'Seven Days of social science' has been published, using the days of the 'Monday’s child' nursery rhyme to focus on particular areas of research. Body image and identity, charity, poverty, migration, relationships, work and wellbeing are all explored through a selection of research in each area.

The publication complements a series of seven videos and online resources.

International co-investigators policy review

Following a recent review of proposals submitted, we found that proposals which include international co-investigators have a higher success rate than those which do not.

As a result we have updated our guidance, to make it easier to include international co-investigators in proposals.

New resources for schools

Our Social Science for Schools website now has two new resources.

Our Genomics resource includes synthetic biology, biofuels and the personalised genomics industry.

The Census resource explores the past, present and future of the Census.

Big society or better society

Charitable giving needs powerful new perspectives if the government’s hopes for a Big Society are to be successful which calls for a proper discussion to take place, argue the authors of a new report released by the Centre for Charitable Giving and Philanthropy.

Latest research features

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Passionate about your research?

Able to capture the essence of your work or research area in a photo? From public services to politics, and international to economy and business, there are categories to cover all aspects of social science in our photographic competition. Closing date for entries 17 August.

Scotland and the question of independence

We are taking forward a major programme of work addressing issues around the future of Scotland, starting with:

  • ESRC Scotland Senior Fellowships 2012-13

Further projects will be announced in the future.

UK’s largest study of babies is named

The largest ever UK-wide study of babies and young people was officially launched as ‘Life Study’ at a recent conference held for UK academics and policymakers.

This is a ground-breaking and ambitious study which will enrol over 100,000 mothers and their partners during pregnancy and follow them and their babies through childhood into adult life.

LARCI review

Following the end of the Local Authorities Research Councils Initiative (LARCI) in 2011, a review was commissioned by the funders to look at the lessons learned from the initiative and provide recommendations for continuing engagement between the Research Councils and local authorities. Read the report

New appointment to Growth Programme

DFID and the ESRC have jointly appointed the Overseas Development Institute (ODI) to provide a project directorate for the DFID-ESRC Growth Programme (DEGP). ODI will play a key role in formulating the research agenda under this programme, and maximising its impact.


  • 26 July: Shared values, collective action
  • 1-3 August: Breaking the mould conference
  • 7 August: Call launch workshop for Google Data Analytics Demonstrator Social Science Research
  • 13 August: DIY-Bio: empowerment or anarchy
  • 18 August: The epigenetic evolution
  • 22 August: The scientist in fiction: creative or crazed genius?
  • 24-25 August: The economic and social consequences of armed conflict and crime - international research conference

More events

Final think tank

The final Arts, Social Sciences and Humanities Policy and Practice Implementation Think Tank of 2012, will take place on 24 July at the University of Manchester. Focusing on benefits, challenges, and methods of working internationally and planning for the future of the ASHPIT project.

Call for abstracts

Final call for abstracts for the ENQUIRE Conference 2012: Interdisciplinarity, which takes place 11-12 September. Deadline for submission is 31 July 2012.

There may be trouble ahead…

Current government policy on social justice hinges on the claim that there are 120,000 ‘troubled families’ in Britain.

In this UK policy working paper from Poverty and Social Exclusion, Ruth Levitas argues that if we interrogate the research on which this figure is based, it turns out to be a factoid.