Third Sector Research Centre fails in bid for funding of core activity

The TSRC, whose director is Pete Alcock (pictured), says this will inevitably lead to 'a significant reduction in future research plans and output'

Pete Alcock
Pete Alcock

The Third Sector Research Centre will have to reduce its research significantly, it has said, after a bid for funding to one of its main funders was unsuccessful.

The TSRC, which produces independent and critical research for the third sector, was given £5m over five years by the Economic and Social Research Council and the Office for Civil Society when it was set up in 2008.

The centre said that an application for renewed funding from the ESRC had been unsuccessful, meaning there will be no funding for core research activity at the centre from the end of next month.

The OCS said last year that it would be unable to continue to fund the centre.

The centre will, however, continue to receive funding from its other main funder, the Barrow Cadbury Trust, which is providing £250,000 until September 2018.

A statement to TSRC stakeholders said the centre had reached the final interview stage of the ESRC’s Centres and Large Grants Competition 2014 but had been unsuccessful. 

"TSRC will continue to operate after this, and we will be reviewing our future activities in the light of existing commitments and future resources; inevitably, this will result in a significant reduction in future research plans and outputs," the statement said.

While the application for funding was being considered, the centre has been running on a bridge funding arrangement with the ESRC since September 2013 that is due to finish at the end of March.

Pete Alcock, the outgoing director of the TSRC, told Third Sector that the centre was continuing to work on "plans for future business", but declined to comment further at this stage.

John Mohan, deputy director of the centre, which is based at the University of Birmingham, is due to take over as director at the beginning of April.

Debbie Pippard, head of programmes at the Barrow Cadbury Trust, said that the trust would continue to support the centre’s work.

"We are extremely committed to the work of the TSRC and think it has done a great job in raising research standards within the sector," she said. "We are committed to that work continuing and know that the TSRC is as well."

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