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

Very nearly an armful

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 size of ESRC grant submissions and awards.

One of the most common questions we’re asked by potential applicants is ‘how much should I ask for?’ Suppositions and folklore tend to suggest that there is an acceptable upper (and maybe a lower) bound for a funding request: unwritten and culturally derived rather than mandated, and beyond which it is not safe to stray. As Tony Hancock might say, it’s somewhere between a smear and an armful. Continue reading

Application and award success rates – what the data tells us

Alex 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 highlights why we publish our application and award data, and what conclusions we might be able to draw from it.

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You may have noticed that we’ve just published a new set of application and award data showing the number of applications and awards from each research organisation (RO) that has applied for ESRC funding in the last five financial years. The set also contains similar data on numbers of applications and awards based on the research disciplines used to classify grants. Continue reading