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. 

We are currently inviting applications for ESRC IAA Business Boost Initiator and Knowledge Exchange Secondment Awards. Awarded projects will initiate, develop and explore social science focused partnerships with non-university business partners.

Further details are below and in the Application Form/Guidance. Please contact Eloise Meller, RED Knowledge Exchange Associate, or with any queries or to discuss your project idea.

We anticipate funding six awards of approximately £10,000 each, which must be spent by 31 March 2019. Applications are invited on a rolling basis and we aim to notify applicants within 3 weeks of submission. 


The ESRC IAA Business Boost funding supports two awards:

ESRC guidance stipulates that “The additional Business Boost Fund is to enable IAAs and DTPs to respond to future Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund (ISCF) and other funding opportunities through National Productivity Investment Fund (NPIF) scheme where industry partners must be involved. The investment also has a broader purpose, which is to increase awareness and engagement with business, and recognise value and role of social science in the Industrial Strategy.”

You are also strongly encouraged to read the full ESRC (Bristol) IAA Guidelines.


Applications are open to UoB academics from any discipline; however, the application must demonstrate how it is driven by social science research, and how this will contribute to the partnership and to the collaborative outcome(s). Business partners may be new to the university or existing partners, but the focus should be on new work rather than continuing an existing project or programme. 

Applications must include an approved FEC. Applicants are strongly advised to work with their Faculty Finance team to ensure this meets ESRC IAA requirements. Eg. direct costs may be charged at 100 per cent (although contributions from partners are also encouraged) but the award does not cover indirect and estates costs. Wherever possible, we would like to see cash or the value in-kind contributions from all non-academic business partners.

Contact Lauren Winch or Lindsey Pike (RED Knowledge Exchange Associates) at with any queries or to discuss your project idea.  

Please submit your application form to Nikki Hicks (RED Knowledge Exchange Officer) at 

Previous IAA Awards

The application period for IAA Exploratory, Impact and Knowledge Exchange Fellowship, NGO Data and ECRs into Industry awards is now closed. But please contact Lauren Winch or Lindsey Pike (RED Knowledge Exchange Associates) at 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.

Further ESRC IAA awards have included:

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 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. Project 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.

Early Career Researcher (ECR) Industry Secondment Awards offered £5,000-£15,000 for ECR Secondments to business and industry on projects aligned to the Industrial Strategy. Secondments could build on research already undertaken, expand existing relationships to include social science or help scope new areas of partnerships/research with business but the project must be in an area aligned to the Industrial Strategy


We would strongly encourage you to contact Eloise Meller, RED Knowledge Exchange Associate, or 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:


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