Please don’t stop reading just because you read the word ‘Industry’ and thought this email was not relevant for social scientists…if you answer ‘Yes’ to any of these questions and you are an early career researcher then this funding opportunity might be of interest to you!

  • Would you like an opportunity to build skills in a non-academic setting?
  • Could your research benefit from  access to business networks, data or technology?
  • Do you have innovative ideas for improving policies, practices and processes that would help industry overcome challenges?
  • Do you have skills and knowledge that could contribute to improving business growth or productivity?
  • Would your research help employers to build capacity in their workforce or improve product/service development?
  • Could you provide specific expertise help business to embrace digital technology?
  • Can you support industry to respond to external factors and regulatory issues they face?

The Oxford ESRC IAA (Impact Acceleration Account) have been invited by the ESRC to bid* for a small pot of funding (£24K) to support social science early career researcher (ECR) secondments to business/industry in areas aligned to the Industrial Strategy . The ESRC have accessed this funding from the National Productivity Investment Fund (NPIF) announced in the Autumn Statement 2016 (£4.7 billion to enhance the UK’s position as a world leader in science and innovation). As a result we would like to offer a small number of secondments up to £12K to be carried out between now and Easter 2018.

You will find the call documents and application form attached or on the Division's website, giving you full details. The deadline for applications is 5pm, 06 October 2017.  After a small panel review results will be announced on 14 October 2017 with projects able to start as early as 15 October 2017. Applications should be submitted to the Social Sciences Research & Impact team (esrciaa@socsci.ox.ac.uk) via your departmental or faculty administrator/research support officer.

Funder deadline: 6th October 2017

Faculty draft review: 25th September 2017

This funding opens up opportunities, enabling recently completed Oxford DPhil candidates or existing ECR postdocs at Oxford to develop small secondment projects with a business/industry partner. These secondments projects should be:

  • aligned with the Industrial Strategy
  • address an industry need
  • focus on knowledge exchange
  • bring business/industry and ECRs together
  • enable the ECR to develop skills in a non-academic setting.

The range of possible KE activities and partners is broad. Secondments can build on research already undertaken, expand existing relationships with business to include social science or help scope new areas of partnerships/research with business.

Projects can address one or more of the 10 pillars of the Industrial Strategy (see p11 of attached Green Paper) or they can focus on one of the following cross-cutting challenges (or a combination of both):

  • Place – understanding the role of industry in driving growth across the whole country and understanding regional variation/policies
  • Transforming business practices – understanding what drives innovation in business and how best to support it
  • Skills – exploring the skills needed by employers and managers to underpin the modern economy
  • Digital Infrastructure – understanding the benefits and challenges of digital technologies and innovative use of data.

Other key information:

  • Projects may start 15 October 2017 and must be completed by 31 March 2018. No extensions are allowed.
  • Proposals should not exceed £12K in eligible costs. Secondee salary cost and other direct project costs (e.g. travel and subsistence, accommodation) are funded at 100%. Estate and indirect costs are not covered by the grant, nor Academic lead salary. In exceptional circumstances with sufficient justification larger bids (>£12K) will be considered.
  • The Secondee (ECR) should be supported/mentored by an established academic in a permanent role who should apply as the Academic Lead.
  • ECRs are defined as within 4 years of completion of their DPhil/PhD (unless exceptional circumstances). Those who have submitted their thesis but are awaiting their Viva can apply.
  • Activities must be based at least 50% within the ESRC social sciences remit.
  • Secondments do not have to involve full-time working with an external organisation, more flexible and part-time arrangements are acceptable.
  • This funding is not for primary research.
  • Proposals should not duplicate work already funded by ESRC or other funders.