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School of Social and Political Science: Research


ESRC New Investigator Grants

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The ESRC have launched the New Investigator Grant scheme to support early career researchers in their transition to an independent researcher.  

The call is open to high-quality candidates who are within four years from their pre-viva PhD submission date.  The scheme is designed to allow newer researchers to gain experience of research leadership and management and to formulate their plans for their research careers. Applicants who technically meet the eligibility criteria but hold a professorship will not be eligible to apply as there is an expectation that they have already obtained these research and management skills.

Grants will usually be between two and three years duration and within an overall limit of £300,000 at 80-100% full economic costing.

The ESRC plans to fund up to around 30-35 grants a year. For more information on the scheme, please see: 

Points to note: The New Investigator Grant is for early career researchers who have an established publication track record and who are at a point  in their career where they are looking to step forward and lead a research project. In acknowledgement of this, the School requires applicants to have at least two peer-reviewed academic publications which are deemed of high quality, for which they had leading role. If you would like further guidance on whether your CV and publication track record is suitable for this scheme, please speak to your mentor in the first instance and/or your subject area Research Convener.

Application process:

The ESRC expects to see only a limited number of proposals from a single research organisation, and these must be of the very best quality. Therefore all applications will be put through an internal review process at both School and College level and only a limited amount of applications will be allowed to be submitted to the ESRC.

SSPS will have 3 DEADLINES annually:

-  15th April

-  15th August

-  3rd December

SSPS requires a mentor (SSPS core staff) for all early-career fellowships. In order to apply, you must first identify, contact and have an agreed mentor for your proposed project application. The project must have Head of Subject Area approval, your mentor can help to obtain this before submitting your application to the School. 

Please sent your completed Joint electronic submission form (find Je-S here, you will need to register), Case for Support (6 pages, Arial 11 minimum and 2 cm margins for all documents), Pathway to Impact (2 pages) and CV (2 Pages) to  Please note, no budget information is required for the SSPS panel round. 

The comments will be provided within a few weeks of the above deadlines to support further development of successful proposals before being submitted to College panel at one of their 3-yearly boards.

If you plan to apply for this scheme and would like to get extra comments or discuss your project in more details, please feel free to submit 1 page summary of your application alongside your CV at any time to