ESRC’s Transformative Research Call 2017-18

For the purpose of this call, the ESRC broadly defines transformative research as involving pioneering theoretical and methodological innovation, engaging unusual disciplinary and/or interdisciplinary perspectives, challenging conventional academic thinking and/or involving the novel application of theory and methods in new contexts.. The expectation is that the transformative research call will provide a major stimulus to novel developments of social science enquiry which will lead to having transformative impact on society. The ESRC recognises that research will attract an element of risk, which we expect will be conducive to high reward.

Some of the possible characteristics of transformative research include:
• Results that will radically change accepted thinking in the social sciences or that could lead to a paradigm shift in its field
• Research that is ethically sound, but which is likely to involve an unusually high degree of risk for the researcher and/ or participants, with the expectation of it producing high rewards
• Research that engages unusual disciplinary and interdisciplinary perspectives and/or methodologies
• Research that challenges widespread methodological and theoretical assumptions of typical social scientific enquiry
• Research that is carried out with the expectation that it will produce a broad base of knowledge and new thinking/insights which will lead to having transformative impact on society.

Call details
This call specifically encourages applicants to design a research question(s) that is both highly ambitious and creative. Applicants should also consider the potential scientific impact of their research proposal and the potential economic and societal impact. More information can be found on the ESRC Impact Toolkit at:

Funding and duration
Grants supported under this call will be duration and must start no later than 30 September 2018.

The value of the award shall not exceed £250,000 (at 100% fEC). The ESRC will fund 80% of this cost, and the balance must be covered by the host research organisation. We expect to fund10-12 transformative grants in this call. The final decision on how many grants will be funded will depend primarily on the quality of the proposals, on their potential to transform conventional academic thinking, transforming research methods, and/or their potential to have transformative impact on society.

All UK-based research organisations (ROs) that are eligible for Research Council funding will be
eligible to submit a maximum of two proposals to this call. As this is a highly competitive call,
all ROs must internally decide on the final number of proposals to be submitted.  Proposals
submitted to this call will count towards demand management statistics.

The deadline for proposals is 7 November 2017 (16:00).


Public Health Research (PHR) Information Events

The Research Design Service (RDS) is organising a number of events which offer an opportunity to gain a greater understanding of our Public Health Research (PHR) programme. The PHR Programme funds research to generate evidence to inform the delivery of non-NHS interventions intended to improve the health of the public and reduce inequalities in health. Its scope is multi-disciplinary and broad, covering a wide range of interventions that improve public health.

Registration to these events is FREE and refreshments will be provided. Senior PHR programme staff will be joined by RDS colleagues and a local PHR funding panel or board member to give a presentation followed by a Q&A session.

Following this plenary session, there will be individual one-to-one sessions for anyone wishing to take advantage of the opportunity to discuss their project ideas (subject to availability) with PHR programme and/or RDS staff.

In order to secure your place at one of these events please complete the online booking form.

Events are being arranged in the following areas:

Newcastle 23 November 2017

Wellcome Trust partnership grant with BBC Children in Need

Curiosity is a brand new £2.5m partnership between BBC Children in Need and the Wellcome Trust which will use the power of exciting and engaging science activities to create change for children and young people experiencing disadvantage in the UK.

BBC Children in Need and Welcome Trust are inviting applications for grants of up to £10,000 to fund projects that engage children and young people in science based activities. This is not about formal education. Projects should encourage young people to be curious about the world around them and inside them, making a positive difference in their lives: building confidence and self-esteem, developing life skills and expanding horizons. Examples of previous funded projects can be accessed here

Applications are open now, and will close at midnight on 22 September 2017. Grants will run from January 2018 to the end of September 2018 and In this first round of funding we anticipate that up to 20 grants will be awarded across the UK.

Further information on the funding call can be accessed here .

Horizon 2020 Information Days

The following are official information days, which are free and a good way not only to hear more about the programme but also to network with potential partners.

Dates confirmed so far are as follow:

We also understand that there is likely to be an information day for the Health Societal Challenge early in December (date to be confirmed).

In addition to these events, Innovate UK and the Enterprise Europe Network are also hosting a number of national events. Planned and confirmed events can be found on the Innovate Knowledge Transfer Network’s website.

If you are thinking about applying for opportunities through Horizon 2020 or would like to know more, please do get in touch (

New HERA funding Call ‘Public Spaces: Culture and Integration in Europe’

The Arts and Humanities Research Council, 23 humanities funding organisations and the European Commission are pleased to announce a new €20 Million Joint Research Programme (JRP) for arts and humanities researchers in Europe.

Organised by HERA (Humanities in the European Research Area), and facilitated in the UK by the AHRC, this joint research programme will fund innovative and exciting international research projects on ‘Public Spaces: Culture and Integration in Europe’.

The beneficiaries of this Call are eligible researchers located in the HERA JRP PS countries: Austria, Belgium (Wallonia), Czech Republic, Croatia, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and United Kingdom, irrespective of their nationality.

The research programme will fund new and exciting humanities-centred projects involving researchers from four or more participating countries. Proposals can be up to €1 Million in value, and 24-36 months in duration. The deadline for the submission of Outline Proposals is Tuesday 24 October 2017, 14:00 CEST (Central European Summer Time).

If you are looking for partners, you can use the HERA partner search tool .

Further information on eligibility, call guidance and application process is available on the HERA website

British Academy

British Academy

British Academy

A) Knowledge Frontiers: International Interdisciplinary Research Projects

The purpose of each project will be to develop new ideas and methods to bear on existing international challenges and to deliver policy-relevant outputs which could potentially improve the welfare of people in developing countries. Proposals that creatively tackle cultural, public and/or policy controversies, or explore how such controversies have been understood and responded to in the past, would be particularly welcome. Such controversies might include, but need not be limited to, changing climate, movements across borders, socio-biological problems, artificial intelligence, medical humanities, people and infrastructures, and responses to or understanding of diseases and pathogens.

Awards are of one-year in duration, funding for the projects will begin between 1 and 31 January 2018. Up to £50,000. Funding can be used to support research and/or clerical assistance; research expenses and consumables; travel and subsistence; and networking, meeting and conference costs.

Application deadline: Wednesday 11 October 2017 (17.00 UK Time)

B) The Humanities and Social Sciences Tackling the UK’s International Challenges

The purpose of each project will be to bring original interdisciplinary research ideas from the humanities and social sciences to bear on our understanding of the international challenges and opportunities which the UK has faced, is facing and will face. The projects awarded will aim to deliver specific academic, public, cultural and/or policy-relevant outputs. Proposals which relate to the themes of Conflict, Stability & Security; Europe’s Futures; Justice, Rights & Equality; and Urban Futures are particularly welcome. For this scheme originality can arise also from looking at material (such as archival material) in new ways or bringing forth new understanding from material that has previously been unknown or less well known, or innovative combinations of researchers (and/or practitioners) in an interdisciplinary manner.

It is required that the projects will be international in scope and orientation with clear collaborative links in the proposal with international researchers and/or other relevant stakeholders. It is required that the projects will also be interdisciplinary enterprises led by established or emerging researchers based in
the UK.

Awards are of one-year in duration, funding for the projects will begin between 1 and 31 January 2018. Up to £50,000. Funding can be used to support research and/or clerical assistance; research expenses and consumables; travel and subsistence; and networking, meeting and conference costs.

Application deadline: Wednesday 11 October 2017 (17.00 UK Time)



The Health Foundation – The economic and social value of health

An open call for innovative research on the economic and social value of health in the UK

  • Our research programme is now open for applications.
  • £1.5 million is available for research that builds the evidence for health as an asset for the economy and society, and generates new knowledge to understand the impact that the health of an individual has on their own social and economic outcomes.
  • Each project will receive between £150,000 and £350,000 for research that is up to three years in duration.
  • Deadline for applications: 12.00 noon, Friday 29 September 2017.

The Health Foundation’s new £1.5 million funding programme is a research-led open call for innovative research on the economic and social value of health in the UK.

Economic and social factors have a complex, dynamic and multi-directional relationship with people’s health. While much is known about their impact on people’s health, relatively little is understood about the impact of individuals’ health on the economy and society.

The Health Foundation is seeking to support research up to three years in duration that aims to generate new knowledge and expand our understanding of the impact that a person’s physical and/or mental health has on their own economic and social outcomes over the medium to long term. We are looking to fund a number of projects, between £150,000 and £350,000, that span a range of age groups and different social and economic outcomes.

The key areas of interest for this programme include:

  • the impact of a person’s health on the economic and social aspects of their life, both at specific points in time, and over the course of their lives
  • understanding how individuals’ different experiences of health leads to varying economic and social outcomes in the future
  • comparing across generations to find out whether similar experiences of health result in different outcomes, reflecting a changing context
  • methods that test explicitly whether health affects economic and social outcomes, rather than economic and social factors affecting health.

Projects funded as part of this call will help to develop understanding of the economic and social case for investing in strategies that maintain, protect and create health more broadly than through investment in health care, by reframing health as an asset that can potentially deliver wider economic and social returns on investment.

How to apply

If you are interested in applying for this research programme, please go through the following steps to complete your application.

1. Important supporting information

All applicants must read the Notes for applicants and frequently asked questions in full to access the online application form.

2. The application process

The application form will require you to supply information to meet all the selection criteria outlined in the Notes for applicants.

All applications must be completed and submitted via our online system AIMS.

Full guidance on accessing, completing and submitting your application via AIMS can be found in the Applicants user guide. We recommend that you keep a copy of this manual to hand to refer to while you complete your application.

3. Information call

We held an information call on Thursday 17 August. Information calls offer applicants the opportunity to hear more about the programme and ask questions to clarify understanding. Download the transcript of the information call.

4. Deadlines

The deadline for online applications is 12.00 (midday) on Friday 29 September 2017. We will not accept submissions after this date.

Shortlisted candidates will be interviewed in December 2017. Interviewed applicants will be advised of the outcome by the end of the year.

Please note: If you have any queries about the programme or application process, email:

Behavioural Insights Research Programme

  • Open call for original research on behavioural interventions in health care.
  • £1.8 million available to support up to eight multidisciplinary research teams to generate new knowledge of what can motivate people to act in more efficient and less wasteful ways.
  • Each project will receive between £150,000 and £350,000 for research completed over two to three years.

Our Behavioural Insights Research Programme aims to support research over a two to three year timeframe that designs, tests and evaluates behavioural interventions that can improve efficiency and reduce waste within health care services in the UK.

The programme also seeks to support research that increases our understanding of how to better implement and spread behavioural interventions in a UK health care context.

We are inviting researchers to submit ideas rooted in ‘behavioural insights’ or ‘nudge theory’ across three key areas of interest:

  • Patient pathways eg. improving patient flow within the system, improving coordination and transfer of care, as well as expediting discharge.
  • Procurement, pharmacy and medicines optimisation eg. minimising cost and waste in procurement and prescribing, as well as improving medication adherence.
  • Care best practice eg encouraging attendance, uptake of screening and health promotion by making every contact count; reducing unnecessary or ineffective care; better demand management and reducing harms.

We plan to work with and support multidisciplinary research-led teams that demonstrate strong collaborations between academics and researchers in psychology and behavioural economics, health care professionals, support-staff and managers, patients and those with design expertise to: strengthen our understanding of the potential for low cost behavioural interventions in improving quality, testing different approaches across different settings and services to examine how interventions work and for whom, in what circumstances and provide lessons on spread in a UK health care services context.

More information on the programme aims and funding priorities are available in the Notes for applicants.

How to apply

To apply, you must complete an online research proposal application form using our application system AIMS.

Please read the Application form guidance and Frequently asked questions and Notes for applicants before you begin your application.

Key dates

  • Friday 20 October 2017 (12.00pm) – Deadline to submit proposals. The online application portal will not accept submissions after this time.
  • 30 November 2017 – Longlisting of proposals. Longlisted proposals will then be externally peer reviewed.
  • 19 January 2018 – Shortlisting will be completed. Shortlisted proposals will be invited to attend an interview at our London offices.
  • 19 – 20 February 2018 – Interviews for research grants will take place. Please ensure that you are available for interview on these dates, as we are unable to offer applicants alternative interview dates.


If you have queries about the application process please email in the first instance. We will endeavour to reply within five working days.

NIHR Invention for Innovation (i4i) Scheme Workshop

The Academic Health Science Network for the North East and North Cumbria is delighted to invite you to a dedicated training workshop focussing upon NIHR Invention for Innovation (i4i) funding and will be held on Tuesday 3rd October 2017 from 13:00 to 16:30 at Durham County Cricket Club, Chester le Street.

The i4i funding workshop will be facilitated by Ed Cooper from VitalSix Ltd and Dr Ian Newington, Acting Head of Special Projects at the NIHR and who leads i4i scheme.

i4i supports collaborative research and development projects in medtech SMEs, universities and the NHS that demonstrate proof-of-principle proof-of-principle and have a clear pathway towards adoption and commercialisation. The expected output is an advanced or clinically validated prototype medical device, technology or intervention. The aim is to de-risk projects and make them attractive to follow-on funders and investors.

Ed and Ian will be leading a practical workshop, providing guidance and advice based on real examples of previous applications. The aim of this workshop is to provide delegates with top-tips for developing an attractive proposition to the i4i scheme.

Further information on i4i can be found on the NIHR Invention for Innovation web page

For further information please contact


Date: Tuesday 3rd October 2017
Time: 13:00-16:30
Venue: Durham County Cricket Club, Chester le Street

Register here.

Latest calls from the NIHR Health Technology Assessment Programme

17/65 – Dequalinium chloride as first-line treatment for bacterial vaginosis
17/66 – Short-term use of benzodiazepines for the acute management of acute low back pain
17/67 – Primary antibiotic prophylaxis for spontaneous bacterial peritonitis in cirrhosis
17/68 – Androgen replacement therapy in symptomatic men with low testosterone
17/69 – Safely and Effectively Stopping Medications in Older People with multimorbidity and polypharmacy
17/70 – Cost-effectiveness of earlier provision of powered wheelchair interventions for children with mobility limitations
17/71 – Treatment of new onset atrial fibrillation in the ICU
17/72 – Treatment of steroid resistant ulcerative colitis
17/73 – Early reoperation for patients with residual glioblastoma
17/74 – Early vs late cranial reconstruction (cranioplasty) in patients who have undergone a supratentorial decompressive craniectomy
17/75 – Management of an impacted fetal head during emergency caesarean section
17/76 – Home-blended food for children with gastrostomy tubes
17/77 – Clozapine for children and young people with treatment resistant schizophrenia
17/78 – Physical exercise for depression in adolescents
17/79 – Trauma-focused cognitive behavioural therapy for post-traumatic stress disorder in schizophrenia
17/80 – Psychosocial intervention to address the mental health needs of parents/carers of children newly diagnosed with autism
17/81 – Recurrent intra-articular corticosteroid injections in osteoarthritis
17/82 – Treatment to target in gout
17/83 – Biological response modifier drugs for rare autoimmune diseases
17/84 – Whole slide imaging in pathology
17/85 – Follow up of quiescent neovascular age-related macular degeneration
17/86 – The clinical and cost effectiveness of screening for Group B Streptococcus (GBS) in pregnancy
17/87 – Proton pump inhibitor therapy for refractory gastro-oesophageal reflux symptoms
17/88 – Fluid resuscitation regimens for burn injuries
17/89 – Interventions for babies born late preterm and early term
17/96 – Benzodiazepines for treatment resistant panic disorder