1. About the ONS research funding grant

The purpose of the Office for National Statistics (ONS) research grant is to support academic research into economic measurement.

We are keen to encourage and support scholars in the early stages of their academic career, so applications are invited from postdoctoral academics working in UK universities.

We will support applications for funding of up to £5,000 to enable research that supports the valuation of natural capital and how that is incorporated into the national accounts and the measurement of National Income.

It is our role to provide the UK with economic data and statistics, and we recognise that the economy and the needs of our users are continually changing.

The task of developing our statistics is challenging; the economy is evolving in multifaceted ways that makes economic measurement increasingly complex. The growth in services (often digitally delivered), the importance of intangible assets, and the continuing trend of globalisation all make understanding and quantifying economic activity more challenging.

We will need help to explore these problems, and know that there are many people who can contribute to improving our measurement of the economy. We would like to increase our engagement with academic and research institutions through the promotion of a wider use of the economic statistics we produce.

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2. Eligibility

Applicants must meet the following eligibility criteria:

  • Grants are available for advanced research at postdoctoral or equivalent level, in the fields of the humanities and the social sciences; postgraduate students are not eligible to apply.
  • Applicants must be ordinarily resident in the UK.
  • Any work for which support is requested must not have commenced before the grant is confirmed; grants will not be made retrospectively.

Eligible costs

Funds may be sought to cover the direct expenses incurred in planning, conducting, and developing the research, including:

  • project planning and development costs (cost of travel for discussion in the UK and overseas, and initial workshops with potential partners)
  • research assistance (based in the UK or abroad)
  • workshops or conferences to advance the programme of research (principally the costs of travel and maintenance for main participants)
  • consumables
  • specialist software
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3. Successful applicant 21/22

The successful applicant for the 2021/22 ONS Research Fund is Chen Xu who is a Research Associate at Cardiff University. The title of this research project is 'Measuring the Regional Digital economy: A pilot Information and Communication Technology (ICT) Satellite Account for Wales'.

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4. Further information

If you would like further details on the ONS research funding, please send an email to Nathan Birch or Emily Harris at economic.engagement@ons.gov.uk.

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