ESRC Festival of Social Science – 22 October–13 November 2022

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The University of Salford is partnering again with the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC), the University of Manchester and Manchester Metropolitan University to host the ESRC Festival of Social Science from 22 October to 13 November 2022. This is a national event and is now in its 20th year.

The main theme for this year’s Festival is ‘My Local Area’. We are intending this as a celebration of any and all aspects of social science research that relate to the City of Salford. So this could be anything from its social and economic history to its dialect, its political landscape, its local businesses and innovators, the future of its local high streets or its public services.

We are aiming to broaden participation by the academic community in the organisation and delivery of this year’s Festival, especially amongst early career researchers, and are encouraging applicants to collaborate, share learning and share resources across Schools to deliver the aims and goals of the Festival. 

Festival facts

The Festival of Social Science is an annual celebration of research and knowledge about humans and society. It is an opportunity for anyone to explore topics relating to social science – from health and wellbeing to crime, equality, education and identity – through events run by researchers from UK universities. There is no cost to attend, and most are open to everyone, though some are aimed at specific groups.

In 2021 there were over 400 events across the UK, delivered by 34 universities. They ran throughout November in a mixture of online, in-person and hybrid formats, and included talks, performances, exhibitions, participatory events and panel debates.

What is social science?

The term social science covers a broad range of subjects relating to society, communities and people, including economics, psychology, sociology, management and business studies, law, economic and social history, politics and human geography, among others.

The events shaping our world – from Brexit and the pandemic to geopolitical tensions and civic protests – reveal how social science is more key to understanding the world than ever. From big ideas to the most detailed observations, social science affects us all every day – at work, in school, when raising children, within our communities, from the personal and local, to the national and global level. Our broad range of subjects are working to help our understanding of these complex areas.

How long has the festival been running?

The Festival of Social Science began in 2002 as Social Science Week, with around 25 events. It has run annually since then, growing in size, breadth and coverage, and plays a key role in our commitment to connect the researchers we fund with new audiences.

Find out more about Salford’s involvement…

The Festival engages the wider community through a variety of mechanisms, including interactive workshops, exhibitions, participatory research and debates. This is a great way for the University to showcase our research and also to seek feedback from our local community to contribute to our current research projects and to shape our future research agenda.

Further information on Salford’s participation in the Festival in 2021 can be found at :

Details about this year’s Festival and the events that you can sign up to attend will be made available on this site later this summer, so please check back regularly for updates!