Innovation in Social Care Collaborative Grants

The Economic and Social Research Council is inviting outline applications for large collaborative grants on Innovation in Social Care 

Deadline to submit outline proposals – 16:00 on 16 October 2018

Through this call ESRC is looking to fund social science-led research and knowledge exchange activity to understand how, why and where innovation happens in social care, to best understand how to improve people’s lives. Each grant should be highly collaborative involving a range of disciplines and stakeholders throughout the research process. ESRC take a deliberately broad definition of innovation including systems, practices, organisations, processes, products and funding. 

Proposals should reflect the reality of how social care is experienced by care recipients and providers, their friends and families, and care professionals, as well as exploring the relationships between those involved. Applicants should explain how the proposed research and knowledge exchange activity will enable the uptake, spread and adoption of change in social care to deliver improved individual and system outcomes, covering patient, carer and staff outcomes and experience as well as robust evidence of cost-benefit both within organisations/ sectors and between different parts of the system.  

Grants are expected to be between £1 million and £2 million (at 100% full economic cost), with a duration of up to 60 months. Grants should start on 1 September 2019 or later.

See here for more details:

The potential scope of this work is broad.

  • ‘Social care’ is used here as a broad term covering provision of help and support (whatever age – including children and young people, working age adults, and older people) to enable people to lead fulfilling, independent and healthy lives, improve their quality of life or keep them safe from harm.
  • It encompasses the care provided privately in the home either by relatives, paid carers, or by people themselves (‘self care’), and more formal sectors such as care homes, children’s residential care, supported living, care provided in NHS primary and secondary care settings, and financial benefits and allowances.
  • ESRC welcome research to support the uptake of innovation at the interfaces between health and social care, and between social care and wider services. It can include statutory and non statutory providers as well as wider and atypical care arrangements. ESRC particularly welcome proposals that seek to understand and influence change across different aspects of the care system, at transitions between different ‘types’ of care, or in under researched areas such as self care, self funders, and private provision. Or interactions with health care and other services and organisations not usually associated with social care, but which impact on people’s lives including welfare, housing, education, transport, leisure and retail sectors.
  • The definition of innovation is similarly broad, including that within and of systems, practices, organisations, processes, products and funding.
  • ESRC recognise that innovating in such a complex and financially stretched system is hard and takes time, and that innovation is often linked to attempts to save costs. In view of this proposals that take a broader approach to the potential impacts of innovation including, in particular, how change can be spread and scaled to deliver improved wellbeing, impacts on the workforce and increased efficiency would be welcomed.

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