ESRC Impact Acceleration Account

The University ESRC Impact Acceleration Account (IAA) runs until March 2019 and applications have been welcomed from all disciplines across the University. There are a variety of Awards offered within the IAA - details with criteria and deadlines are below. We aim to notify applicants and release funding as soon as possible after each Funding Panel.

We are currently inviting applications for the ECRs Into Industry and GCRF NGO Data schemes. Links to details, guidelines and application forms are below. The timetable is

Deadline for submission - Mon 18 June 2018
Funding Panel meet - Thurs 27 June 2018
Please read the relevant material and then contact Nikki Hicks or Policy Bristol in RED to discuss your project idea. 

NB. ESRC IAA funding operates outside normal ESRC funding rules - please see details on the relevant Application Form and Guidance, and check with Faculty Finance when producing the FEC.

GCRF NGO Data Awards support partnerships with Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) and implementation agencies who are operating in an Official Development Assistance (ODA) context. Projects will focus on the data held by the NGO or agency, specifically on at least one of the two key areas: building relationships with relevant NGOs/agencies to explore the potential of secondary NGO data and/or the scope for researchers to increase the impact of NGO data through secondary data analysis.

Proposed activities will discover the extent and quality of the data being held and/or identify the potential for developing further projects, or for realizing impacts from secondary data that benefit low and middle-income countries.

We anticipate funding three awards of approximately £10,000 each, which must be spent by 31 March 2019. They must also meet GCRF (Global Challenge Research Fund) Compliance Criteria – see also the Guidance Notes and Application Form.

Early Career Researcher (ECR) Industry Secondment Awards offer £5,000-£15,000 for ECR Secondments to business and industry on projects aligned to the Industrial Strategy. The funding must be spent by 31 March 2019.

Secondments can build on research already undertaken, expand existing relationships to include social science or help scope new areas of partnerships/research with business. Your proposed project must be in an area aligned to the Industrial Strategy and you are asked to discuss your idea(s) with Esther Brown in RED before applying.

The eligibility criteria for an ECR are

  • a maximum of four years’ academic research experience following the submission of your PhD (between the initial submission date of the PhD thesis and the submission date of the secondment proposal, excluding career breaks and calculating part-time periods on a pro-rata basis), or be of equivalent professional standing.
  • The scheme is open to applicants with or without a permanent academic post, subject to the above restrictions (this needs to be discussed with the Head of School).

 Please see the ESRC IAA ECR Secondments to Industry Application Form which includes more detailed Guidance.  


Formal application for IAA Exploratory, Impact and Knowledge Exchange Fellowship awards is now closed. But please contact Nikki Hicks or Policy Bristol in RED if you have a project idea as we may be able to suggest alternative funding.

The core IAA offered four Award schemes,  

Exploratory Impact Awards offer £1,000-£3,000 for short, exploratory projects to identify the potential impact of specific research and/or take the first steps towards impact. An extension to £5,000 was available where this could be explicitly justified.

Impact Project Awards offered up to £20,000 for projects that develop the impact and emerging opportunities for impact of social science research, and deliver or lead to benefits for non-academic partners in any sector. The maximum award of £25,000 per project required additional explicit justification in terms of the demand of beneficiaries and their commitment to the project.

Knowledge Exchange (KE) Fellowship Awards supported inward and outward people exchange to achieve impact from social science research by enabling collaboration with policymakers and partnership organisations as well as the development of partnerships and networks. 

Outward KE Fellowship awards from £1,000 - £20,000 enable staff to work in external partner organisations on 'exploratory' visits through to full participation in external organisations requiring academic staff buy-out.

Inward KE Fellowships bring external specialists to work within the University. Awards will fund allowable expenses plus formal status eg. workspace in the School, access to Library.

Impact Travel Awards offered up to £500 support visits to stakeholders or potential KE Fellows to explore impact opportunities and contextualise research findings. Applications were assessed outside the Funding Panel, by the Director of Policy Bristol and the Knowledge Exchange Development Manager, RED. Contact Policy Bristol with any queries.


We would strongly encourage you to contact Nikki Hicks or Policy Bristol to discuss your idea or if you have any queries. Other resources that may be helpful in shaping your IAA Project application are:

-        Developing Research Impact  (PDF)
-        Collaboration with the University of Bristol (PDF, 258kB)
-        National College for Universities and Business (NCUB) Best practice strategies for successful innovation through university-business collaboration
-        Northern Rock Foundation's Adding Value to Grant Making Guide developed with the University of Bristol
-        Guide to Gathering Impact Evidence (PDF  UoB only)  
-        Projects awarded ESRC IAA funding
-        Research Impact Stories and University News items - many are directly related to IAA-funded projects and show how award funding can be a catalyst for impact and enable follow-on activities.
-        FSSL Research webpages have a range of useful resources concerning Impact.
-        ESRC Impact Tool-kit 

-        Official Development Assistance (ODA) - Global Challenges Research Fund guidance


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