ESRC-NIHR dementia research initiative 2018

Outline call

ESRC and the National Institute of Health Research (NIHR) are pleased to invite outline proposals to undertake social science research to support innovation in dementia prevention, interventions and care delivery.

Building on the success of the 2012 ESRC-NIHR dementia initiative, we are seeking to fund large grants which will be national or international focal points for social science research in dementia, making a significant contribution to scientific, economic and societal impact.

Proposals are expected to be between £2 million and £5 million (at 100% full economic cost) with a duration of between 36 and 60 months.

The call has a fixed start date and the usual three month start period rules do not apply. Grants must start on 1 January 2019.

Call details

Research should advance methodology and social science theory in dementia research and support active career development, particularly for postdoctoral researchers. Proposals should inform health and social care practice and policy relating to dementia, supporting people in their communities and making a difference to the lives of people with dementia and their carers and families.

Proposals are invited in the following areas:

  • Prevention based on an understanding of socio-economic and environmental risk or protective factors and how best to effect changes in behaviour in order to lessen the risk of developing dementia, delay onset and slow progression
  • The development of interventions supported by underpinning social science research to inform cost-effective care models tailored for the population in need so that people affected by dementia have the best possible quality of life
  • Care delivery looking across care settings, care givers and care providers to deliver the right set of care arrangements in the most appropriate place at the right time.

It is not anticipated that one proposal should cover all areas, but proposals can address more than one area and should consider the linkages between prevention, interventions and care delivery. Proposals are not restricted to the detail of information provided above, as long as the proposed research fits the broad scope of the call.

How to apply

The assessment of proposals will be a two stage process. Outline proposals will be assessed by a commissioning panel with appropriate expertise and then shortlisted. The panel will include academic experts, non-academic research users and people affected by dementia. Shortlisted applicants will subsequently be invited to submit proposals to the full proposal stage.

Full proposals will be subject to academic and user peer review. Anonymised reviewer comments will be sent to applicants for written response. Full proposals will be considered by the panel before final recommendations and funding decisions are made. ESRC will manage the application process on behalf of ESRC and NIHR.


  • Deadline to submit outline proposals – 16.00 on 15 March 2018
  • Shortlisted applicants invited to submit full proposals – late May 2018
  • Deadline to submit invited full proposals – July 2018
  • Deadline for applicant’s response to reviewer comments – September 2018
  • Funding decisions announced – late October 2018
  • Grants start – 1 January 2019

Call documents

Further information

Enquiries relating to this call should be addressed to:

  • Email:
  • Sarah Lobo, Research Portfolio Manager: 01793 413036
  • Joanne Goddard, Senior Research Portfolio Manager: 01793 413170

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