ESRC Festival of Social Science November 2020 – Call for Applications Now Open!

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The University of Salford will again partner with the Economic and Social Research Council, the University of Manchester and Manchester Metropolitan University to host the ESRC Manchester Festival of Social Science in 2020.

Our ambition is that the Festival of Social Science (FoSS) will be a flagship event for the social sciences. In 2020 FoSS will be an online/virtual Festival for the first time, with the option of course to re-introduce associated physical events and activities should that prove possible. The use of digital, online and virtual means to deliver a series of events should ensure incorporation of interactive elements and two-way engagement. 

Applicants are encouraged to engage with a diverse range of public audiences, from general public and young people, to policymakers, businesses and specialists. FoSS 2020 aims, especially with the shift to a virtual format, to achieve a breadth of geographical reach within, and potentially, outside the UK and, as far as possible, to facilitate the inclusion of and engagement with members of public who may be excluded from engaging with either traditional or digital festivals.

We are aiming to broaden participation by the academic community in the organisation and delivery of the Festival, especially amongst early career researchers, and encourage applicants to collaborate, share learning and share resources to deliver the aims and goals of the festival.  We therefore encourages events in collaboration with other external partners and organisations, e.g. schools.  

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

The call for applications to host events is now open. The Festival will run from 7-15 November 2020.

Any researcher can apply to hold their event, new or existing, under the Festival banner and applications can be made for up to £500 sponsorship from the University of Salford to hold an event.

For inspiration and ideas for the kind of event you might run, you can find out about the 2019 events at

Please note, applications SHOULD NOT be made to the ESRC, but rather via the University of Salford. The application deadline is 4pm on Friday 31st July. An application form and guidance notes are attached to this e-mail.

Please address any queries to Emma Sutton, Impact, Engagement and Environment Coordinator ( or Davina Whitnall, Researcher Development Coordinator (

Why not come along and join in the activities?

Full details of all events across the week will be available

Tweet your comments using the hashtags #esrcfestival and #McrESRCfest

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