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ESRC International Public Policy Observatory – Covid-19

The Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) has announced an open competition for an International Public Policy Observatory (IPPO), to support public policy decision-makers in developing effective strategies for responding to and recovering from the social, economic and public health impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic. ESRC intends to fund the IPPO (£2M for an initial period of two years) to enable a rapid response to current urgent evidence need and to generate evidence about the effectiveness of this new model to inform further investment decisions.


The IPPO will work through collaboration and co-production with policy actors, researchers and centres of excellence in the UK and internationally to increase understanding of interventions and public policy responses to address the pandemic. It will:

  • Collate, analyse and synthesise evidence on the range and potential of policies being implemented globally, providing access to and insights into this evidence in ways which respond directly to the needs of policy actors
  • Facilitate new connections and enable rapid direct access to national and international expertise for policy actors
  • Rapidly commission new research to feed into policy decisions and future funding strategy where key gaps in evidence or quality are identified.
Policy Themes

The range of policy areas to be covered in its work will include:

  • Education
  • Mental health and well-being
  • Care homes and adult social care
  • Housing, communities and cohesion
  • Addressing disproportionate impacts on BAME
  • Vulnerable individuals and communities
  • Living online.

Given the strategic nature of this investment and the relatively tight timescales to develop an application, the University will be seeking a collaborative and coordinated approach to bidding for this opportunity. Interested applicants are requested to contact Carolyn Silvester via ESRCImpactAccount at warwick dot ac dot uk with the following details, by 9am on Monday 10 August, 2020:

  • Name, job title and department
  • The policy theme(s) to which your research relates, including a brief overview (max. 100 words) of your relevant expertise
  • Details of any appropriate external contacts or partnerships (both national and international) that could be quickly mobilised to contribute to bid development
  • An indication of whether you would like to be considered in an overall leadership capacity (noting the below timescales), and if so, a brief overview (max 200 words) of your experience of working with policy stakeholders and of managing complex strategic projects.
  • Internal deadline for notification of interest to ESRCImpactAccount at warwick dot ac dot uk: 9am, Monday 10 August, 2020
  • ESRC bid deadline: 4pm, Tuesday 15 September, 2020
  • ESRC interviews for shortlisted applicants: Week commencing Monday 5 October, 2020
  • Decisions to applicants: Week commencing Monday 12 October, 2020
  • Start date: No later than Friday 23 October, 2020
  • End date: 30 September, 2022 (at the end of this period the ESRC will assess and review progress prior to any decision about forward development of the IPPO).
Further information

Full details of the opportunity can be found here.

Please direct any queries to Carolyn Silvester (Research Impact Manager) at ESRCImpactAccount at warwick dot ac dot uk or James Green (Research Strategy and Development Manager) at

Expressions of Interest to ESRCImpactAccount at warwick dot ac dot uk by 9am, Monday 10 August, 2020