Call for Participation: ESRC Festival of Social Sciences

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Deadline: 10 May 2019

The 2019 call to take part in the ESRC Festival of Social Sciences (2-9 November 2019) is now open with a very short turnaround – the deadline is 10 May 2019Apply now!

Whether you want to dip your toe in public engagement for the first time, or whether you are an experienced public communicator, this is a great chance to experiment with some creative ways of getting non-academic audiences engaged with research ideas. Events need to feature social sciences (and ideally to involve a social scientist) but you do not need to be a social scientist to apply! There is funding available to support researchers with Festival activities up to £1000 per event. We are hoping to fund 10 events this year.

We had some fantastic Festival events last year, and it would be great to see even more researchers from across different departments getting involved this year. For a taste of the Festival experience, check out a blog by Rob McNeil from COMPAS (School of Anthropology and Museum Ethnography) about their ‘speed-geeking’ event on the many dimensions of migration, which was live-streamed in November 2018.

For the first time this year, funding for Festival events is being provided to Oxford applicants via Oxford’s ESRC Impact Acceleration Account which is managed by the Social Sciences Division. This means that if you are interested, you should contact to get support with the application process. See full details and download the application form on our webpage.

How it works

The Festival events are organised by researchers from universities across the UK, and then these are promoted and supported by the ESRC under the Festival ‘umbrella’ – so there is lots of flexibility, in terms of practical planning, and in choosing an event format.

In the past, the Festival has included film screenings, virtual activities, hands-on activities, debates, outdoor events, seminars, workshops, and exhibitions. This is not an exhaustive list though, so consider whatever makes sense for your research. You can find detailed information (including inspiration, and an event organiser’s guide ) at the ESRC Festival website.

Proposed events need to:

·         Be held within the Festival period (2–9 November)

·         Fit with the aims and objectives of the Festival

·         Feature social science (ideally with a social scientist involved in the event)

·         Be free to attend

·         Not be aimed primarily at academic audiences.

The aims of the Festival are:

·         To encourage, support and create the opportunity for social science researchers, particularly early career researchers, to engage with non-academic audiences.

·         To provide a ‘safe’ place for researchers at all career stages to test out public engagement activities

·         To engage with a range of policymakers promoting social science research and findings, to inform policymaking and to maximise the impact of research

·         To engage the wider public to promote social science research and findings and an awareness and understanding of the contribution they make to the economy and wellbeing of society

·         To engage young people and schools in social sciences.

More details and how to apply

There is funding available to support researchers with Festival activities up to £1000 per event. We are hoping to fund 10 events this year.

If you are interested in taking part and/or applying for funding, please visit our website or contact Please do not contact the ESRC directly.