Large Grants Competition 2018, UK


June 14, 2018


Opportunity Cover Image - Large Grants Competition 2018, UK

Large Grants Competition


The ESRC Large Grants competition invites proposals from eligible individuals and research teams to take forward an ambitious research agenda with the potential to generate significant economic or societal impact. Similar to our standard research grants,  proposals for standard research projects, large-scale surveys, infrastructure projects and methodological developments in any area of the social sciences are welcomed. Interdisciplinarity both within and beyond the social sciences is encouraged. Proposals should be between £1 million and £2.5 million (100% full economic cost (fEC)) for a period of between three to five years. Four awards are expected to fund up to. ESRC will fund 80% of fEC. This year’s competition will run as a two-stage application process. Outline proposals should be submitted via the UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) Joint Electronic Submission (Je-S) System no later than 16:00 on 14 June 2018. Shortlisting decisions will be made in September 2018, when shortlisted applicants will be invited to submit full proposals (closing date November 2018). Proposals will be peer reviewed and assessed at a panel meeting in April 2019, with funding decisions available in May 2019. Grants will commence from 1 October 2019.


The expectations are that Large Grants:

  • undertake a programme of ambitious research
  • show strong commitment for the career development of researchers (particularly at early-career stage)
  • make significant contributions to scientific, economic or social impact
  • involve potential users of research
  • take advantage of international collaborative and/or comparative opportunities Please note that studentships are not eligible under this call. This call provides opportunities for promoting innovation and interdisciplinarity, both within and beyond the social sciences; however, excellent research within a particular social science discipline is also welcome.


The call is for proposals ranging between £1 million and £2.5 million (100% full economic cost - fEC) for a period of between three to five years. Detailed information on eligible costs can be found in the ESRC’s research funding guide ( Proposals will need to show 100% of full economic cost of the proposed research. The ESRC will meet 80% of the full economic costs on proposals submitted; the balance must be guaranteed by the research organisation. All UK Higher Education Institutions are eligible to receive funds for research, postgraduate training and associated activities. The higher education funding councils for England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland determine whether an organisation meets the criteria to be a Higher Education Institution. Research institutes for which UKRI established a long-term involvement as major funders are also eligible to receive research funding (see Independent research organisations (IROs) approved by ESRC are eligible to apply for ESRC funding. The current list of eligible IROs is available at

How to apply

Outline applications must be made through the UKRI’s Joint Electronic Submission System (Je-S) (see for detail). The ‘Je-S guidance notes for applicants’ document (available from provides details on the information that applicants will be required to submit as part of their outline proposal. All applicants should consult the ESRC research funding guide (, which sets out the rules and regulations governing funding. Furthermore, please see the Je-S handbook for more information (via the Help option on the Je-S website (

Outline proposals will be assessed against the following criteria:

Quality of proposal

  • Research merit and contribution to knowledge
  • Demonstrable capacity to undertake high-quality research, drawing on combinations of disciplinary and cross-disciplinary expertise and approaches
  • Clear work plan with realistic and testable milestones, clear deliverables, convincing strategic management and a high probability ofsuccess

Details and track record of applicants

  • An outstanding track record in the relevant research field
  • Demonstrate PI capacity to provide research leadership and to draw together an appropriate mix of expertise
  • Potential to build upon, and add value to, the existing evidence base and stimulate research innovation and methodological development
  • Proven project planning and management skills

Pathways to impact

  • Strong evidence of engagement with users at the project planning and inception stages through to completion of the project
  • Evidence of considered and realistic engagement and dissemination plans to maximise academic, societal or economic impact,and the potential benefits to users

Value for money

Reasonable and fully justified costs for the specified project

Assessment process

The assessment of proposals will be a two stage process. Outline proposals will be assessed and shortlisted in September 2018 by an assessment panel. Shortlisted applicants will subsequently be invited to submit applications to the full proposal stage in late September 2018, with a closing date in November 2018. Further Je-S guidance will be issued at this time. Full proposals will be referred to a minimum of four external peer reviewers, including reviewers from outside the UK. Applicants will be asked to nominate two academic peer reviewers, with one from outside the UK. Normally, one of these nominees will be approached as part of the peer review group. Applicants should seek the nominated reviewers’ permission and commitment before nominating them. Applicants will also be asked to nominate two users of the research from outside the research community.Independent user reviewers may be aproached. Shortlisted applicants to the full stage of the call will be given the opportunity to respond to anonymised reviewer comments before proposals are considered by the commissioning panel. The full stage commissioning panel will meet in April 2019. Funding decisions are expected to be available in May 2019. Grants will commence in October 2019 unless, exceptionally, applicants can make the case for an earlier start.

Commissioning timetable

  • Call announced – 16 April 2018
  • Closing date for proposals – 14 June 2018
  • Shortlisting meeting for outline proposals – September 2018
  • Full call (invitation only) open – September 2018
  • Full call close – November 2018
  • Commissioning panel meeting – April 2019
  • Decisions to applicants – May 2019
  • Grants commence – October 2019

For more information click "LINK TO ORIGINAL" below.

Eligible Countries
Host Country
Study Levels
Event Type
Publish Date
May 15, 2018
Link To Original