ESRC New Investigator Scheme

Open Call: Please notify Faculty at least four weeks in advance of intended application date.

The New Investigator scheme aims to provide early career researchers with the opportunity to lead their first major research grant and gain experience of managing a research project and team. 

The call is open to early career researchers from anywhere in the world who have the support of an eligible UK research organisation. Applicants who already hold a professorship or are current/former project lead on a UKRI grant, excepting an ESRC postdoctoral fellowship, are not eligible.

Grants ranging from £100,000 to £300,000 at 80% full Economic Cost (FEC) and for up to five years can be awarded. Proposals are welcomed across the full disciplinary range of the social sciences and at the interface with the wider sciences, however the social sciences must represent at least 50 per cent of the research focus and effort.


Internal Restrictions

We will support applications from academics who are already employed by Oxford on a permanent contract.

Applicants who do not have a permanent post will require this grant to cover their salary. In this case, it will be difficult to justify requesting the salary of a full-time principal investigator as the dominant component of the grant. As this would preclude the employment of a project team, as required by the ESRC for a successful application.

We will support applicants who wish to request the salary of a part-time principal investigator of 0.4FTE (two days a week) or less. Before applying, we ask applicants to find an Oxford academic on a permanent contract to act as their mentor for the duration of the project.



This funding opportunity has now reverted back to an open call on an ongoing basis as opposed to consecutive rounds. The Faculty requests if you are interested in applying to this scheme that you notify us at least four weeks ahead of your intended submission date.