SCIE Report 11: ESRC research, social work and social care

By Ian Shaw, Hilary Arksey and Audrey Mullender

Published December 2004


The Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) is the largest single UK funder of social science research, with a budget in excess of £80 million. Its role has been significantly expanded in recent years with a view to reinforcing the contribution made by social science to evidence-based policy and practice. While the ESRC does fund some social work and social care research, this is significantly less than for other disciplines.

The terms 'social care' and 'social work' are used in the study as there is uncertainty about the scope of social work within the ESRC, while the term 'social care' is even less familiar amongst ESRC officers and non-social work researchers.


This report looks at what contribution ESRC research programmes make - and might make - to the knowledge base for social work and social care.


It is for use by the ESRC and the social care research community.

Messages from the report

The report makes the following recommendations:


All SCIE resources are free to download, however to access the following download you will need a free MySCIE account:

Available downloads:

  • SCIE Report 11: ESRC research, social work and social care

Related links

SCIE's resources on using knowledge in social care