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(Economic and Social Research Council) Fit for the Future: Research Leadership in the Social Sciences

04 July 2019

You are hereby invited to contribute to the BPS’s response to the following consultation from the ESRC.

Developing social science leadership capability is one of ESRC’s strategic priorities.

The funding landscape is going through a period of rapid change and we want to support social scientists to take advantage of the opportunities that are now available to them.

There is a clear shift toward larger collaborative and challenge-orientated projects that reach across traditional disciplinary and professional boundaries and are often international in scope.

About ‘Fit for the Future’:

The ‘Fit for the Future’ project was announced in 2018 in the light of this rapid change and recognises that this creates a specific leadership challenge for the social sciences.

Designing, leading and delivering, and simply working within large, complex ‘team-science’ projects demand skills that have often not been required or incentivised within the social sciences.

This leadership challenge has implications for:

  • how the social sciences think about researcher development more generally
  • how it nurtures and sustains intellectual curiosity and creativity throughout the full professional journey
  • how it cultivates and rewards ambassadors for the social sciences
  • how it might combine a fresh approach to talent management and building research leadership capacity with UKRI commitments in relation to inclusion, diversity and equality

Led by Professor Matthew Flinders from the University of Sheffield, this project aims to design an ambitious and agile new research leadership and talent management strategy.

This strategy will seek to achieve institutional and cultural change, placing the social sciences at the forefront of professional excellence within UKRI and within the international scientific community more broadly.

Evidence Review and Consultation:

The ESRC wants to work collaboratively to respond to this and seeks input from researchers at all career stages, staff working in ROs to develop research capability, senior university leadership teams together with other organisations interested in building leadership capacity to inform the next stages in development.

We particularly welcome responses to questions raised within the consultation paper which accompanies the review.

Getting Involved

Send your comments to [email protected] using the form below.

The deadline for responses is Monday the 05th of August.

Please note:

  • The Society will only produce ONE response to any consultation.
  • Any response that goes under the Society logo MUST be signed off by the relevant Board Chair and Branch Chair in the case of Devolved Nations.
  • Responses on behalf of particular Divisions / Faculties / Member Networks are not permitted under any circumstances.
  • Please do refer to the British Psychological Society Consultation Processes document which is attached before writing and sending any comments
  • Please ensure that all comments are based on Published Evidence and not solely on clinical opinion


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