Getting your research into Westminster: Parliamentary Select Committees

by Rob Coleman

There has never been a more important time for social science research than right now, when independent, robust evidence is needed to help tackle the big questions facing society. However, in today’s fast paced political climate just how can social scientists influence parliamentarians (and create policy impact) when their time and attention is in high demand? Continue reading

Exploring Researchfish

by Rick Hamilton

The first quarter of the new year is a busy time for our grant holders, research organisation staff, and all those involved with the collection of research outcomes in ESRC and UKRI. It sees the start of another Researchfish submission period, and this is the fifth year that our grant holders have taken part. Here in the ESRC Insights team, we have spent the year since the last submission period reviewing the data we have collected so far and reflecting on how we use it. Continue reading

New academic year, new policy engaged you!

by Sarah Foxen

As the new academic year kicks off, I wonder if you’ve planned any ‘new year’s resolutions’. Perhaps you’re going to try a different approach to doing your teaching prep or find a new way of conducting data collection? Or perhaps you’re considering taking steps to have more impact with your work?

If it’s the latter of these, then you should know that engaging with the UK Parliament can be a great way to achieve policy impact. I’d like to share some of the benefits of engaging with Parliament through research – and share some practical ideas on how to do so. Continue reading

Why GDPR matters for research

by Sarah Dickson and Maria Sigala

On 25 May 2018 new data protection regulations are introduced in the UK and across the EU. We have been working for many years with the research community and the Information Commissioner’s Office, trying to understand what the new regulations mean for research.

The General Data Protection Legislation and new Data Protection Act, which come into force in the UK, will enable greater accountability and transparency by those who process personal data. The new legislation, GDPR for short, offers enhanced rights to individuals whose data is being processed.  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