Launch of ESRC International Public Policy Observatory Call

The Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) has launched an open competition for an International Public Policy Observatory, to support public policy decision-makers in developing effective strategies for responding to and recovering from the social, economic and public health impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Observatory will work through collaboration and co-production with policy actors, researchers and centres of excellence in the UK and internationally, and ESRC and other funders to increase understanding of how and when particular public policy responses to address the pandemic may be effective. To do this, it will:

Collate, analyse and synthesise evidence on the range and potential of policies being implemented, including and especially beyond the UK, providing access to and insights into this evidence in ways which respond directly to the needs of policy actors.

Facilitate new connections and enable rapid direct access to national and international expertise for policy actors.

Over time, commission new research to feed into policy decisions and future funding strategy where key gaps in evidence or quality are identified.

The range of policy areas to be covered in its work will include:


Mental health and well-being

Care homes and adult social care

Housing, communities and cohesion

Addressing disproportionate impacts on BAME groups

Vulnerable individuals and communities

Living online.

For all policy areas, the Observatory will need to address tackling inequalities and harnessing behavioural change, where there is evidence that can be exploited on these themes.

All proposals to this call must be led by a researcher at an eligible UK Research Organisation (RO).

The ESRC will be investing up to £2 million at 100% full economic cost (fEC) over two years through this competition.

Applications should be submitted by the deadline of 15 September 2020 (16.00).

More information about this research funding opportunity and the application process is available on the RESEARCHconnect funding information platform. RESEARCHconnect provides up-to-the minute content, insight and analysis on research funding news and policy. To find out more about how RESEARCHconnect can keep you in the know, and subscription fees, contact us today.