A case for support must include:


  1. Introduction/background to research

·         The introduction should set the aims and objectives of the study in context. It should briefly sketch the main work on which the research will draw, with references. Any relevant policy or practical background should be included.

  • The detailed research questions to be addressed should be clearly stated.


  1. Objectives

·         The main objectives of the proposed project should be listed in order of priority and should be those that the Investigators would wish the Council to use as the basis for evaluation of work upon completion of any grant awarded. 


  1. Method: data/participants, material, procedure/analysis

·         Give a full and detailed description of the proposed research methods.  Particular care should be taken to explain any innovation in the methodology or where you intend to develop new methods.

  • If the research involves data collection or acquisition you must demonstrate that you have carried out a datasets review, and explicitly state why currently available datasets are inadequate for the proposed research. The ESRC’s datasets policy is in Research Funding Annex C.  Please see the ESRC website for further information
  • The data, materials or information to be collected should be clearly stated, and the methods for achieving this explained. Where sampling is involved, the sampling frame, population and sample sizes, the sample design and arrangements for any pilot should be specified, and reasons given for the procedures adopted. Where access to people or archives is needed, indicate clearly the records, population or samples to be consulted.
  • Any potential problems such as access, obtaining reasonable response rates, availability of records, materials or data, should be clearly stated, and proposed solutions identified. State what action you have taken to secure access.
  • Clearly state the framework and methods for analysis, and explain the reasons for their choice.


  1. Implications


·         Describe who will benefit from the research


a.     Academic Beneficiaries


Please summarise how your proposed research will contribute to knowledge, both within the UK and globally.


Academic Beneficiaries should address the following questions


  • how the research will benefit other researchers in the field
  • identify whether there are any academic beneficiaries in other disciplines and, if so, how they will benefit and what will be done to ensure that they benefit


What other researchers, both within the UK and elsewhere are likely to be interested in or to benefit from the proposed research.


Please look broadly beyond narrow research field.  RCUK recognises that in generating new knowledge, a cross-disciplinary or single-disciplinary approach may be the most appropriate. Applicants are asked to clearly state their chosen approach and provide justification for that choice.


List any academic beneficiaries from the research and give details of how they will benefit and how the results of the proposed research will be disseminated. Specific beneficiaries might be:

  • researchers in the investigator’s immediate professional circle, carrying out similar or related research
  • researchers in other disciplines
  • researchers in other academic institutions (in the UK and/or international)


Also describe the relevance of the research to beneficiaries:

  • identify the potential academic impact of the proposed work
  • show how the research will benefit other researchers (this might include methodological or theoretical advances)
  • identify whether the research will produce data or materials of benefit to other researchers, and explain how these will be stored, maintained and made available
  • explain any collaboration with other researchers and their role in the project


Note: The Academic Beneficiaries section may be published to demonstrate the impact of Research Council funded research.  Please ensure confidential information is not included in this section.

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