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.

Application deadlines and Funding Panel meeting dates are

We aim to notify applicants and to release awarded funding as soon as possible after each Funding Panel meeting.

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). We would like to see projects that engage with external organisations and companies, with contributions from all non-academic partners wherever possible.

The IAA offers 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 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.

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.

Application forms  

For an Exploratory Impact, Impact or Knowledge Exchange Fellowship Award application, please use the combined ESRC IAA Application form (Word UoB only).    

For an Impact Travel Award, please use the ESRC IAA Travel Award application form (Word UoB only).

Please see the ESRC IAA Guidance Notes (PDF UoB only) for further details.


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 

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