Economic and Social Research Council

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Insight study on UK Research and Innovation policy internship scheme (2019)

The Economic and Social Research Council, part of UK Research and Innovation, commissioned Helix Research and Evaluation to undertake a short insight study to contribute to an internal review of the UK Research and Innovation policy internship scheme. We consulted with policy organisations hosting internships and UKRI staff administering the scheme.

Cohort study participant recruitment and data collection in pregnancy and pre-conception: evidence summary (2019)

As part of a programme of work to address topics of strategic interest to ESRC’s longitudinal studies investments, we reviewed the opportunities and challenges of cohort study participant recruitment and data collection both during pregnancy and pre-conception, drawing on the experience and learning of studies in the UK and overseas. The review drew on documentary evidence from a sample of 24 observational and intervention studies (including longitudinal birth cohorts) alongside insight from representatives of UK cohort studies.

Synthesis studies for the ESRC Longitudinal Studies Team (2019)

We worked with the Economic and Social Research Council to synthesise and index the key findings from around fifty short studies that had been commissioned to address topics of strategic interest to its longitudinal studies investments.

ESRC Longitudinal Studies Review 2017

The ESRC Longitudinal Studies Review 2017 explored the current and future scientific and policy-relevant need for longitudinal research resources. The review was undertaken by a small, independent, international panel, chaired by Professor Pamela Davis-Kean, University of Michigan and reported to ESRC Council early in 2018. We were asked to support the work of the review panel by analysing data from the initial online consultation survey launched in autumn 2016.

This consultation sought input broadly, resulting in 637 completed responses from UK (83.4%) and international (16.6%) respondents. Respondents were predominantly from the academic sector (80%) as well as government, civil society and business sectors (20%).

We wrote an initial report of the main findings of the consultation which was published by ESRC in December 2016.

We were then commissioned to conduct further analysis to examine a number of key themes from the consultation in more detail. This work resulted in ten short briefing papers that were published by ESRC in May 2017.

ESRC Report Page  (including 10x briefing papers)


ESRC Global Challenges Research Fund

The Global Challenges Research Fund (GCRF) is a five-year £1.5 billion funding stream, announced as part of the Government’s 2015 spending review. It forms part of the UK’s Official Development Assistance commitment, to support cutting-edge research which addresses the problems faced by developing countries. The GCRF operates across a number of UK delivery partners, including the ESRC which was allocated £35 million over the period of its Delivery Plan 2016-20.

We were commissioned by ESRC in January 2017 to summarise the key findings of the Fund’s initial Call for Evidence conducted by RCUK, and, through an analysis of international donor websites and key strategic documents, to set these findings within the wider national and international funding context. This internal report was commissioned to help inform ESRC’s strategic position as a key delivery partner for the GCRF.


Evaluation of the EU Joint Programming Initiative on demographic change ‘More Years Better Lives’ for the ESRC (2015)

The Joint Programming Initiative ‘More Years Better Lives: The Potential and Challenges of Demographic Change’ (JPI-MYBL) was established in 2010. Its purpose is to foster collaboration and coordination between European and national research programmes related to demographic change. ‘Joint Programming’ is a European approach to pooling national resources to help tackle common challenges. EU Member States commit to Joint Programming initiatives to implement strategic research agendas. In its role as a key JPI partner, the ESRC commissioned us to undertake an external evaluation to examine the progress of MYBL towards its aims during its first 30 months. The evaluation involved documentary analysis of JPI outcomes and qualitative interviews with JPI members representing 12 counties.


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