Develop Evidence-Based Recommendations for ESRC’s Data Policy

Closing Date: 28/04/2023

Funding available to undertake scoping work and subsequently make recommendations for ESRC’s data policy update.

ESRC wish to appoint an individual or team to provide high-quality advice and well-developed recommendations to support the development and implementation of an updated data policy.

A vital part of this work will be consulting widely, in a hybrid manner, with stakeholders across sectors and disciplines to accurately reflect the needs of the ESRC community and more broadly, how this sits within the wider data landscape.

The team or individual will be required to:

  1. Review existing data policies (applied by UKRI research councils and beyond) to assess:
    • best practice and identify gaps and opportunities for developing an updated ESRC data policy
    • how it would fit within the wider UKRI and UK open research policies and strategies (such as the National Data Strategy)
  2. Review a selection of data management plans. Applicants should bear in mind the need to balance consistency with the UKRI data sharing principles (and any other key strategies) with appropriately addressing the particular needs of the social science community.
  3. Consult with a range of stakeholders to discuss and assess the current and future requirements (which may include, but are not limited to metadata provision, training and user support, data management plans, data licencing, etc.). This includes (but is not limited to):
    • current ESRC-funded data services
    • ESRC and UKRI internal stakeholders (for example, council experts, open research team, infrastructure teams)
    • users of the full breadth social science data from a range of career stages (postgraduate to senior researchers)
    • data depositors
    • data custodians
    • data producers
    • other data professionals, technologists, others as seen fit
  4. Consult with services offering access to a wide variety of data types.
  5. Consult across sectors to take on board best practice and recommendations.
  6. Establish how complexities and changes in the data landscape inform how ESRC data policies, requirements, training and guidance should be reshaped (and how these should be implemented). This includes (but is not limited to):
    • TREs
    • research code production and sharing
    • the increasing and vast array of data sources (and the associated structured and unstructured nature of them)
    • research ready data and the processing and expertise required to ready it
    • synthetic data
    • an evolving legal and ethical landscape consisting of different types of data and methods of licencing
    • diverse methodologies applied to different types of data to ensure the avoidance of bias in data and thus research outcomes
    • data principles and standards
  7. Gather a set of requirements and develop specific, realistic (practically, administratively and financially) recommendations. The recommendations will support the development of an updated data policy and its implementation for ESRC which will be fit for purpose for the next decade.
  8. Consider recommendations in terms of ease of implementation and maintenance for the social science community in line with cross-UKRI aims.
  9. Deliver a report to ESRC including a set of well-developed recommendations for an updated data policy and its implementation, supported by evidence and a rationale, not exceeding 20 pages (excluding supporting annexes). ESRC requires an initial draft report at least one month before the project end and will provide comments back to the principal investigator to inform the development of the final report.
  10. Recommendations could cover a list of additional resources that data services should deliver (for example, specific areas of guidance) to support those utilising ESRC data policies to get the best out of them. The recommendations should be transferable to a wider UKRI policy in future.
Funding body UK Research and Innovation (UKRI)
Maximum value £250,000
Reference ID S24945
Category Economic and Social Research
Fund or call Fund