Future of social science – insights, opportunities and expectations

Research funding is going through a period of rapid change, including the introduction of a number of significant new research funds. The content in this section provides information on these changes and the funding opportunities for social science research to make a contribution to society. It is designed to help you navigate new UKRI funding streams and explain how you can get involved with them. 

There are a number of large UKRI funds that offer significant opportunities for social science. These opportunities often have relatively short deadlines and may require researchers to work in new and agile ways. It’s vital that the social science community is ready to respond effectively when relevant opportunities are announced.

There are high expectations for what social science can contribute to our prosperity, security and wellbeing as part of delivering UKRI’s vision. Our Executive Chair, Jennifer Rubin, provides some further information on this: 

Changing context

Changes to the funding landscape, with the addition of new funds, are providing valuable new opportunities for social science research. It’s vital that social scientists have a good understanding of these changes so that they can exploit new opportunities as they arise.

Strategic developments

There are a number of ESRC strategic developments that help underpin their capability and funding. Current strategic developments include:

Specific opportunities

Find out about specific UKRI funds and how you can apply for them:

ESRC will also continue to provide funding opportunities through their core funding initiatives: 

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