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New ESRC Delivery Plan published

We are pleased to announce the publication of our 2019 Delivery Plan. The ESRC Delivery Plan is part of a family of plans published yesterday by UKRI’s nine constituent councils. 

The plans outline how UKRI will work with its partners to ensure that world-leading research and innovation continues to flourish in the UK. They also detail UKRI’s approach to delivering the government’s target of 2.4% GDP spend on research and innovation by 2027.

ESRC social science research generates the rich understanding of how individuals, firms, markets, communities and governments behave and interact to shape public policy, address the opportunities and challenges of the UK’s Industrial Strategy, and deliver UKRI’s objectives.

Our Delivery Plan focuses resources on research and innovation where there is significant social demand, where data and people are in place to undertake the research, and where there is a clear pathway to deliver improved social and economic outcomes. 

On publication of the Delivery Plan, Professor Jennifer Rubin, ESRC Executive Chair yesterday said:

“The UK faces major opportunities and challenges, from climate change, low productivity and the increasing prevalence of obesity, to the need to unlock the potential and mitigate the risks of new technologies such as artificial intelligence and automation. 

“These opportunities and challenges arise from people and behaviours, and how well we grasp and meet them depends on individuals, families, communities, firms and public institutions responding effectively. Social science is vital to understanding how we can equip people with the capabilities and resilience to adapt to the pace and frequency of change and manage new technologies.

“The need for excellent social science and for the resources to support it is clear, and by bringing brilliant minds together we will address the challenges and opportunities that are so in need of attention”.

Priority research and innovation themes

The Delivery Plan details our priority research and innovation themes, and supporting foundational pillars. 

Advancing the frontiers of social science

We will support fundamental world-leading research and advances in methods, data, skills and engagement to advance the frontiers of knowledge, enabling a much richer understanding of social and economic issues.

Priority thematic areas

Our priority research themes are:

  • Productivity, prosperity and growth
  • Next-generation public services
  • Living with technology
  • Changing populations
  • The UK in a changing world
  • Global development, environment and society
  • Foundational pillars
  • The following will be fundamental to the research we fund:
  • Talent, methods and leadership
  • Mobilising knowledge, impact and engagement
  • Data and infrastructure
  • Enabling international collaboration

Read the Delivery Plan

You can view the Delivery Plans for all the UKRI councils on the UKRI website:

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