ESRC Impact Acceleration Account

The University ESRC Impact Acceleration Account (IAA) has been extended to March 2019 and applications are 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.

Please contact Esther Brown or Policy Bristol in RED to discuss your project idea for generating impact from social science research. All projects should have a strong connection between the proposed activities and social science research/doctoral awards (funded from any source or none).

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

The core IAA offers four Award schemes, with additional funding added for GCRF NGO Data Awards and ECR Secondments to Industry. 

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 is available where this can be explicitly justified.

Impact Project Awards offer 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 will require additional explicit justification in terms of the demand of beneficiaries and their commitment to the project.

Knowledge Exchange (KE) Fellowship Awards support 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.

There is a combined ESRC IAA Application Form (Word UoB only) for Exploratory Impact, Impact or Knowledge Exchange Fellowship Awards. Please also see the ESRC IAA Combined Application Guidance (PDF UoB only) for further details. We would like to see projects that engage with external organisations and companies, with contributions from all non-academic partners wherever possible.

The submission deadline for these awards is 5pm on 17 April 2018. The Funding Panel meeting is on 2 May 2018 and we aim to notify applicants as soon as possible after the meeting.

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

For an Impact Travel Award, please use the ESRC IAA Travel Award application form (Word UoB only). There is no deadline for these awards and they can be applied for at any time through Policy Bristol.


Additional ESRC IAA-related funding was received in 2018 for GCRF NGO Data awards and for Early Career Researcher Industry Secondments..

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.

Please discuss your idea(s) with RED’s Knowledge Exchange Associate Esther Brown before you apply.

The deadline for applications is 17 April 2018 (the same deadline as the core ESRC IAA awards above). Decisions will be made at the Funding Panel on 2 May 2018 and applicants informed of the outcome as soon as possible after this meeting.


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

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

The submission deadline for these awards is 5pm on 28 March 2018 with funding available from April 2018. (There may be a further call with a deadline 28 May 2018 if there is funding still available).



We would strongly encourage you to contact Esther Brown 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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