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Education Funding – ESRC Perspective . Professor Paul Boyle, Chief Executive ESRC, RCUK International Champion. ESRC in Context . Non-Departmental Public Body, established in 1965, largely funded through the Department of Business Innovation and Skills ( BIS )

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Education Funding – ESRC Perspective

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Education Funding – ESRC Perspective

Professor Paul Boyle, Chief Executive ESRC, RCUK International Champion


ESRC in Context

  • Non-Departmental Public Body, established in 1965, largely funded through the Department of Business Innovation and Skills (BIS)

  • The major public sector funder of social science research and post graduate training in the UK

  • Key Principles:

    • Quality

    • Impact

    • Independence


ESRC Funding

  • Total budget for 2013/14 is £204m (BIS allocation of £181m)

  • CSR 2010:

    • 2% cut in real terms to Programme budget

    • 23% cut in real terms to Admin budget

Distribution of ESRC funding 2013/14


Funding Opportunities

  • Schemes, competitions and initiatives to provide grants for original research

  • Centres and Large grants focused on key themes affecting society and the economy

  • Major capital resource for longitudinal and cross-sectional studies

  • Postgraduate funding

  • Knowledge exchange opportunities - ESRC has recently launched the Impact Acceleration Accounts (IAAs)

  • Seminars series


Development of Strategic Priorities

  • Strategic Priorities

    • Economic Performance and Sustainable Growth

    • Influencing Behaviour and Informing Interventions

    • A Vibrant and Fair Society

      To be reviewed regularly – ensure responsive to emerging questions in each area.

      Refreshed February 2013

  • Assessed achievements to date and identified gaps to be filled

  • Considered how we respond to urgent but unpredictable scientific opportunities


Partnerships and Collaboration

  • A fundamental shift towards a collaborative approach, with partnership and co-funding at the heart of all that we do:

    • We attract £23m of additional co-funding from government departments, private sector, civil society and international bodies

    • Co-production ensures research is better placed to inform policy and practice, increasing the likelihood of impact.

    • Private sector prioritised for increased engagement and co-funding

  • Increasingly viewed as partner of choice for government departments and other organisations

    • Longstanding partnership with DFID

    • Work with Cabinet Office to establish ‘What Works’ network


ESRC’s Development Research Portfolio


Examples of ESRC Funded Educational Research

  • Teaching and Learning Programme (TLRP) – ran from 1999-2009 totalling £30m

  • Science and Mathematics Education (TISME) – research funded in partnership with the Gatsby Charitable Foundation, The Institute of Physics and the Association of Science Education

  • Technology EnchancedLearning (TEL) is a ESRC/EPSRC funded programme which has just concluded – research ranging from early childhood development through schools further and higher education as well as professional and workplace learning

  • Learning and Life Chances in Knowledge Economies and Societies (ESRC Centre) investigates the role of lifelong learning in promoting economic competitiveness and social cohesion


ESRC Priorities related to Education

  • Higher Education

    • Research into a dynamic and broad area – in the UK and with international comparison

    • HE is an increasingly competitive and collaborative international landscape with great potential for new research topics

  • Education and Development

    • Partnership with DFID to explore challenges and research questions moving beyond access to education focus of Millennium Development Goals (MDG2) to focus on raising learning outcomes


Higher Education landscape – dynamic and worthy of New Research?

  • Introduction of fees

  • Increasing numbers of overseas students

  • Debates around widening participation

  • New technologies including MOOCs

  • Potential for changing funding models

  • Challenges for graduates in the labour market

  • Different country-specific models of delivery


Higher Education as an Emerging Priority

  • In development – overarching theme The Future of HE; how higher education is organised and funded, and what it is for – its purpose and nature

  • Including a series of interlinked and overlapping potential research priorities – some clear relevance to international development

  • Planned activities under HE to be discussed at forthcoming ESRC Research Committee


The Developing Research Programme

Five potential themes which are under discussion and therefore may be subject to change –

  • Organisation of HEIs and the HE system

  • Equity in higher education participation

  • Curriculum, pedagogy and modes of provision

  • Higher education for the public good

  • The academic labour market


ESRC-DFID Strategic Research Partnership

  • To ESRC, International Development represents a complex set of global societal challenges that must be addressed through a broad range of cross-disciplinary social science research

  • DFID and ESRC co-fund initiatives when we identify strong potential for both development impact and cutting-edge science

  • Collaborative research funding managed by a dedicated International Development Research team within ESRC


ESRC/DFID Education and Development:Raising Learning Outcomes in Education Systems

  • Will fund a portfolio of research on critical policy areas currently constraining developing country education systems from translating resources into better learning outcomesfor all

  • Key aim is to provide policymakers and practitioners with concrete ideas on how to improve learning and understanding of how these will translate to their specific context and institutions


ESRC/DFID Education and Development:Raising Learning Outcomes in Education Systems

  • Three key areas:

    • How do interacting contextual dynamics enable or inhibit the delivery of quality education in specific country contexts?

    • How do specific policies or interventions designed to delivery quality education and learning for all interact with these contextual dynamics, and with what impact within and beyond the education system?

    • How do we better understand, measure and evaluate educational quality and learning outcomes in development contexts?


ESRC/DFID Education and Development:Raising Learning Outcomes in Education Systems

  • £20 million to be awarded over three annual calls

  • Each annual call will have a thematic focus

  • First call of £5m focuses on ‘Effective Teaching’and closes 25 March

  • A range of levels of funding are available in the first call:

    • Small grants: up to £150K on any topic within the scope of the programme. 1 year duration.

    • Medium grants: £200-500K for projects related to ‘Effective teaching’. 2-3 years duration.

    • Large grants: up to £1m for projects that will produce a significant data resource with strong potential for secondary use. Must address ‘Effective Teaching’ and other dynamics influencing teaching practices and learning outcomes. Up to 5 years duration.


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