How social scientists can get involved in the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund

by Charlie Dormer

A new set of research and innovation challenges has recently been announced through the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund (ISCF), providing major opportunities for the social sciences to collaborate with other academic disciplines and businesses to solve specific economic and societal challenges.

ISCF is made up of major industrial and societal challenges in different areas of research, where academics work with businesses and other partners to find innovative solutions.

The challenges are being announced in batches each year known as ‘waves’. The latest batch – wave 2 – was announced in November 2017, and the first competitions for each challenge are now being launched. Continue reading

Bringing social science into the forefront of interdisciplinary research – a reflection of my time at the ESRC

by Tony McEnery

Former ESRC Director of Research and interim Chief Executive, Tony McEnery, reflects on some personal highlights and organisational successes during his time at ESRC.

I have had the unique privilege of working as Director of Research in two of the UK research councils – the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) and, more recently, the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC). It will come as no surprise to discover, then, that for me cross-council working comes easily – which was handy while steering the ESRC towards the move into UK Research and Innovation! 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