What the latest application and success rates data tells us

alex-hulkes-150Alex Hulkes is Strategic Lead for Insights at the ESRC, and is responsible for developing our ability to evaluate and carry out data-informed analysis of ESRC investments, policy and operation.

Here he explores the latest analysis just published on ESRC’s application and success rate data.

The data for decisions (ODS) made on ESRC research grant and fellowship proposals in the last financial year is now available on the ESRC website. And our analysis (PDF) has been updated to reflect this. Some parts of the picture have changed, but some remain the same. Continue reading

Quality of life in dementia: are the views of care home staff and relatives the same?

Sarah Robertson 150.jpgSarah Robertson is a PhD student with funding from the NIHR Collaborations in Leadership in Applied Health Research and Care. Sarah has been working as part of the Managing Agitation and Raising Quality of Life in dementia (MARQUE) team at UCL and this work inspired her thesis comparing the perspectives of paid and family carers in quality of life.

In 2012, the UK government announced that in the face of “one of the biggest health challenges ever” that it was time to “fight back”. These challenges were presented by dementia which to this day, remains a public and political priority. In the same year, David Cameron launched his first Dementia Challenge. In response, the ESRC and NIHR pledged £20 million towards Improving Dementia Care and a number of large research projects were funded to support the shared global objective of enabling people to live well with dementia. Continue reading

Fundable research and success rates


alex-hulkes-150Alex Hulkes is Strategic Lead for Insights at the ESRC, and is responsible for developing our ability to evaluate and carry out data-informed analysis of ESRC investments, policy and operation.

Here he writes about the different types of success rate for research proposals. 

There’s a lot that can be learned from the data we have on research proposal outcomes. Attention tends to focus on the overall proposal success rate and the success rates of individual research organisations.

Our two most recent ESRC Insights analyses look at other types of success rate and try to understand why they are what they are. Continue reading

Mine your data – why understanding online health communities matters

aude-bicquelet-4-webDr Aude Bicquelet is a Research Director in the Health team at NatCen – the National Centre for Social Research. Aude specialises in the analysis of ‘Big Qualitative Data’ on health-related issues and has worked with professional and regulatory health bodies such as the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) and the Royal College of Physicians. 

In November, Aude presented findings from a recent study looking into how people use social media to discuss health issues at the ESRC Festival of Social Science.

A staggering 73% of adults in the UK turn to the internet when experiencing health problems. Whether it is to check symptoms, find out about available treatments or share experiences about living with a particular condition, the internet has become the first port of call with many turning to the web before they even consider going to see a doctor.
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Grammar schools: does selection help social mobility?

n-burgessNuala Burgess is an ESRC-funded PhD student at King’s College London. Her PhD examines sixth form selective practices and the ways in which these shape the post-school choices of moderately attaining students, with a particular focus on the HE choosing of students who do not aspire to ‘elite’ universities.

The government plans of re-introducing the 11+ examination and the expansion of grammar schools has proved controversial – but does research provide any evidence about benefits from selective schools?
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