Welsh Universities’ ESRC and AHRC Research Funding Success

The ESRC reports that social science research in Wales now has the highest success rate and the biggest improvement of all the UK countries. The Economic and Social Research Council has increased its spending on research grants by £2 million and boosted its success rates for grant proposals from 17 per cent to 27 per cent in the last year.

According to the ESRC’s annual report and accounts, the amount it agreed to award to research grants rose from £26.7m in 2011-12 to £28.7m in 2012-13.  During the same period, success rates for grant proposal went up from 10 per cent to 27 per cent. Each of the UK nations saw an overall increase in the number of successful proposals they submitted to the ESRC, however Wales enjoyed the largest increase of 31 per cent (compared to only 4 per cent in 2011-12). 

Universities in Wales have also increased their share of Arts and Humanities Research Council funding by £4.1 million in 2012-13, compared with 2011-12, according to the council’s latest annual report and accounts.

The figures, published on 12 July 2013, show that Welsh universities received awards totalling £6.2m in 2012-13. The proportion of successful applications increased from 42 per cent in 2011-12 to 61 per cent in 2012-13, despite there being 16 fewer applications in 2012-13.

The Society welcomes this encouraging news, which reflects the high quality of research in Wales. As stated in the Society’s Report on Recognising the Quality of Research at Universities in Wales earlier this year, the research performance of Wales’s universities ranks highly when measured against the standards of national and international competitors.