The impact of the third sector's activities will be examined by a dedicated research centre led jointly by the universities of Southampton and Birmingham. The centre, funded by the Economic and Social Research Council, the Office of the Third Sector and the Barrow Cadbury Trust, will receive a total joint investment of £10.25 million over five years. It will begin work in September. Pete Alcock of the University of Birmingham will be the director, and John Mohan of the University of Southampton will be deputy director. Professor Mohan said: "This is an exciting new opportunity to work closely with policymakers and practitioners - both locally and nationally - in building capacity and engagement."