ESRC: Festival of Social Science – 5-12 November 2016


ESRC-LogoThe ESRC’s Festival of Social Science offers a fascinating insight into some of the country’s leading social science research and how it influences our social, economic and political lives – both now and in the future. The festival offers the opportunity to discover how the social sciences shape public policy and contribute to making the economy more competitive, as well as giving people a better understanding of 21st century society. From big ideas to the most detailed observations, social science affects us all everyday – at work, in school, when raising children, within our communities, and even at the national level. This celebration of the social sciences takes place across the UK – via public debates, conferences, workshops, interactive seminars, film screenings, virtual exhibitions and much more.


The Festival of Social Science offers an opportunity for researchers to hold events aimed at non-academic audiences and will take place from 5-12 November. Applications for sponsorship of up to £1,000 can be made to assist with events. Applications for funded events close on the 13th May and for non-funded events on the 20th May.

Purpose of the Festival

The Festival of Social Science is designed to promote and increase awareness of social sciences and ESRC’s research, enable social scientists to engage with non-academics and increase awareness of the contributions the social sciences make to the wellbeing and the economy of the UK society.

Aims of the Festival

Through its Festival of Social Science, the ESRC aims to:

  • Encourage, support and create the opportunity for social science researchers to engage with non-academic audiences
  • Promote and increase awareness of the social sciences and ESRC’s research
  • Promote and increase awareness of the contributions the social sciences make to the wellbeing and the economy of the UK society
  • Enable the public to engage with social science research
  • Engage with teachers and young people and to raise their awareness of the social sciences.

 Applying for sponsorship

Events must:

  • be held during the ESRC Festival of Social Science 2016 (5-12 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.

Examples of activities at previous events include:

  • Film screenings
  • Virtual activities
  • Hands on activities
  • Debates
  • Outdoor events
  • Seminars
  • Workshops
  • Exhibitions

Past event holders have included:

  • ESRC funded grant holders, postgraduate students and those working in ESRC funded investments
  • Non-ESRC funded social scientists
  • Museums, science centres and tourist sites
  • Young people organisations and schools
  • Local authorities and other government bodies
  • Social science organisations

Applicants are welcome to apply for sponsorship for more than one event although a separate application form must be submitted for each event.