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New public services research centre gets green light

27 June 2019

A new research centre, focusing on public services and welfare reform, will launch in October 2019 thanks to being awarded Legacy Centre Status by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC).

The Centre for Evidence-based Public Services (CEPS) is one of five centres to gain this new status, designed to maximise the impact of their achievements and longer-term sustainability.

CEPS, to be led by Professor Helen Simpson, was formerly known as the Centre for Market and Public Organisation (CMPO), which was established in 1998.

The Legacy Centre Status Review is a rigorous process of review to recognise the ongoing excellence and credibility of a former ESRC centre. Securing this status will enable the centres to continue to brand themselves as an ESRC Centre for a further five-year period, receive up to £100,000 funding to support communication, knowledge exchange, and capacity building activities.

Professor Simpson, Centre Director and based in the School of Economics, said: "We are very pleased that the ESRC has decided to award Legacy Centre Status to the Centre for Evidence-based Public Services, formerly the CMPO.

"The new Centre will launch in Autumn 2019 and will continue our record of high-quality research on public services and welfare reform, combined with policy impact.

"The new Centre will extend our research agenda internationally, and will place more weight on quantitative methods given the ever-increasing potential for, and importance of, data-intensive research."

ESRC legacy status and funding forms the last stage of the graduated centres funding model introduced in 2017 following a review into how ESRC could continue to foster and sustain the excellence and impact of its centres over a longer period. 

Legacy status introduces the opportunity for centres to be invited to apply to be recognised as an ESRC Centre for a further period once substantial ESRC Centre funding comes to an end. 

Professor Jennifer Rubin, Executive Chair of the Economic and Social Research Council, said: "Legacy status will ensure that these ESRC-funded centres are recognised for their ongoing excellence and are able to continue to maximise the impact of the centres’ achievements and value to society. 

“We are delighted that these centres will, through this recognition, retain their close strategic relationship with the ESRC."

Further information

About the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC)

The Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) is part of UK Research and Innovation, a non-departmental public body funded by a grant-in-aid from the UK government.

The ESRC is the UK's largest funder of research on the social and economic questions facing us today. It supports the development and training of the UK's future social scientists and also funds major studies that provide the infrastructure for research. ESRC-funded research informs policymakers and practitioners and helps make businesses, voluntary bodies and other organisations more effective.

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