Collaboration and coincidence

by Alex Hulkes

History has been described as ‘just one damn thing after another’. Data on the other hand is often ‘lots of damn things all at the same time’. This blog highlights not one but two new damn things appearing on the ESRC website at the same time, each containing many sub-damn things all of which happened at the same time, or nearly so. Continue reading

Where has all the money gone?

by Alex Hulkes

The concept of ‘place’ is a key part of the UK’s Industrial Strategy. Knowledge, capabilities and skills might be rather abstract things but in the end they act through and on people who have a physical presence in a place or places.

We’ve just published some new analysis of ESRC regional spending (PDF) which links the intangible inputs and outputs of ESRC funding with their physical and geographical placement.

Continue reading

A disciplined approach to disciplines

by Alex Hulkes

If you were to guess what proportion of the ESRC portfolio reflected thinking from, or somehow related to, more than one discipline, what figure would you come up with?

We tried this experiment in ESRC, and came up with a figure of around 60%, but that was based on gut feel. Happily, ‘gut feel’ isn’t the basis for our decision making. Neither are dowsing or entrail reading, and someone has lost the corporate copy of the I Ching. Continue reading

Success rates explained

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.

In his latest blog, he looks at new analysis on the relationship between success rates and decision volumes.

When writing A Brief History of Time Stephen Hawking was told that every equation he included in the book would halve its sales. So the two people who might actually read the most recent analysis of ESRC data (PDF) shouldn’t feel too bad. Continue reading