The UK has a world-leading data infrastructure for social and economic research that provides a huge opportunity to address some of the most pressing challenges facing society today and into the future. The Secondary Data Analysis Initiative aims to deliver high-quality high-impact research through the deeper exploitation of major data resources created by the ESRC and other agencies.
The first two phases of the initiative have funded around 80 projects which have enabled researchers from any social science subject area to undertake smaller, focused, impact-generating projects using any pre-existing dataset, with funding of up to £200,000 for a maximum of 18 months. Phase 2 of the initiative also included a focus on co-production of knowledge and required partnerships with non-academic organisations. A third phase of the initiative is currently in the process of being commissioned. This phase hones in on maximising the use of key ESRC-funded data resources and infrastructure and developing the capacity of early career researchers to undertake research using complex data resources. As such it is a requirement that proposals use at least one dataset from a list of key resources and include at least one early career researcher as part of applications.
As a result of the success of previous calls, future ESRC funding will be awarded through a rolling open competition