Funding opportunity: ADR England Research Community Catalysts

Please note: This opportunity has now closed.

Each of the three community catalysts will focus on a theme. Applications are open for the following awards: 

  • ADR England Research Community Catalyst for Children at Risk of Poor Outcomes: co-funded by What Works for Early Intervention and Children’s Social Care (WWEICSC) 
  • ADR England Research Community Catalyst for Youth Transitions: co-funded by Youth Futures Foundation (YFF) and the Centre for Transforming Access and Student Outcomes in Higher Education (TASO) 
  • ADR England Research Community Catalyst for Evaluation: co-funded by the Evaluation Task Force (ETF) and the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC). 

These awards will develop more self-sustaining, thriving, and well-networked communities of researchers connected with wider stakeholders that have a shared understanding of the gaps and priorities within each theme. Applicants are encouraged to apply as a small team or consortium to cover the breadth of skills required. 

To hear more about the opportunities, including the objectives for each theme and the application process, you can register for an applicant webinar. There will also be an opportunity to have your questions answered by ADR UK, ESRC and the award co-funders. There is one webinar for each community catalyst: 

The webinars will also be recorded for prospective applicants who are unable to attend the session. Please e-mail to request a link.  

Find out more about why we are funding this opportunity.  

Projects must start no later than 31 January 2024 and end by 31 March 2026. The deadline for applications is 16:00 on Tuesday 6 June 2023. 


The successful team for each of the three community catalyst awards will carry out an ambitious programme of work to develop and advance the landscape of administrative data research for public good. The community catalysts will:

  • provide strategic research leadership, including development of research agendas 
  • build capacity for administrative data research 
  • develop a diverse, cross-sector research community 
  • allocate funding to address the research priorities they identify. 

Each objective is explained further in the main funding opportunity specification. Specific objectives relating to the community catalyst themes are given in each of the three theme-specific annexes – links to these can be found in the main specification. Applicants should read both the main funding opportunity specification and the relevant theme-specific annex to understand the requirements of this funding opportunity.    


The awards will be worth between £670,000 to £970,000 at 100% full economic cost (FEC). ESRC and co-funders will fund 80% FEC. 

Community catalyst Co-funder(s) Total funds available
ADR England Research Community Catalyst for Children at Risk of Poor Outcomes WWEICSC £732,092 
ADR England Research Community Catalyst for Youth Transitions YFF, TASO £672,085 
ADR England Research Community Catalyst for Evaluation ETF, ESRC £972,122 

The total funding available for each award is further broken down into a maximum sum for the community catalyst core grant and a maximum sum for the delegated research budget. Please refer to the main funding opportunity specification for a breakdown and detailed description of each of these sums. 


We strongly encourage interested applicants to apply as a small group or consortium to reflect the breadth of tasks and skills required. If applying for more than one theme, please submit one application per theme.  

The principal investigator must be based at a UK research organisation eligible for ESRC funding.  

Proposals can also include co-investigators from UK business, policy, or civil society. Given the objectives and assessment criteria, we encourage non-academic co-investigators from a government department or intermediary evidence body. This is not essential; however, it may help to ensure the proposal is able to fulfil the objectives. 

Please note that ESRC will potentially fully fund (at 100% FEC) costs for UK business, third sector or government body co-investigators as ‘exceptions’. Full details can be found in the UK business, third sector and government body co-investigator policy guidance.  

We will be looking for demonstrable knowledge and research capability in the area of focus, together with a proven ability to establish and develop a diverse community around a common purpose. Applicants should also demonstrate a commitment to collaborate with a wide range of stakeholders across government, academia and the third sector. 

Key dates
Applications open 14 March 2023  
Applicant webinar: evaluation theme 20 April 2023, 11:30 - 13:00  
Applicant webinar: children at risk of poor outcomes theme 24 April 2023, 14:00 - 15:30 
Applicant webinar: youth transitions theme 25 April 2023, 13:00 - 14:30 
Closing date 6 June 2023, 16:00 
Review of applications June - September 2023  
Assessment panel meeting October 2023  
Funding decisions Expected late October 2023 
Latest award start date January 2024 


How to apply

To find out more about the funding opportunity, including how to apply and all supporting documents, visit the UKRI Funding Finder

Read more about how these awards will build capacity for research in the public interest


Express your interest to join the assessment panel for this funding opportunity

ADR UK is piloting a new way of recruiting our panel members and is inviting expressions of interest to join the assessment panel for this funding opportunity. We are looking for panellists with extensive experience in a theme relevant to the community catalyst awards, as well as familiarity with relevant datasets.   

If you are interested in forming part of the expert panel, please review the call documents. We encourage suitable potential panellists to complete the expression of interest form by 31 March 2023.  

If your expertise matches our requirements and you are considered a suitable panellist, ADR UK will be in touch with you during April 2023. Please note that submission of an  expression of interest does not guarantee a place on the panel, and applicants are not eligible to be panellists.  

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