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ESRC Impact Acceleration Account (IAA)

Our ESRC IAA is a £1.25 million fund awarded to the University from the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) over a five-year period from April 2023.

A pile of hands on top of each other
Our ESRC IAA supports knowledge exchange and research impact from within the ESRC remit

We are delighted to have secured an Impact Acceleration Account (IAA) award of £1.25 million from the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) over a five-year period from April 2023. This is the first time the University has received IAA funding from the ESRC and will enable researchers to generate greater benefits from research within Economic and Social Science remit, helping create a more prosperous, inclusive, healthy and secure society.

Aims of the award

  • Aim 1: Cultivate a greater culture of impact and responsible innovation that benefits students, staff, University, wider society and economy

  • Aim 2: Accelerate impact through stimulating and supporting new and existing projects

  • Aim 3: Enhance local, regional, national and international strategic partnerships that address real-world problems

Funding opportunities

ESRC IAA Flexi Fund – rolling award (no deadline)

The ESRC flexi-fund (up to £3k) is a responsive award for early-stage relationship building and idea development. The funding enables researchers to react swiftly to new opportunities and might include knowledge exchange/mobilisation, knowledge brokering, co-production, implementation, engagement and communication (this list is not exhaustive). For example:

  • relationship building, engagement activities and networking opportunities including workshops, events, developing training programmes in person or online
  • placements, secondments, visits
  • small-scale early-stage projects such as feasibility studies, co-producing resources or market research

We would particularly encourage projects that contribute to policy change, and secondments that exchange knowledge, skills and expertise.

This fund and the associated light touch assessment process have been developed to enable us to respond to your applications in a timely way so that you can take advantage of opportunities as they arise. These applications will be assessed for funding by the IAA Team within three weeks of submission.

Contact the IAA team to discuss your idea and request an application pack:

ESRC IAA Postdoc Impact Award Open Call – deadline 12 September 2023

Postdoctoral Impact Awards (up to £5k/project) are available to Research Assistants as well as PhD students at the University who have submitted their PhDs. The award aims to provide opportunities for career and personal development through knowledge exchange and impact related activities within the Economic and Social Science remit. Funds can be used to build on collaborative activities with external organisations which are already underway, explore new opportunities, or build knowledge and skills to support future collaborations that have a high probability of knowledge exchange and ‘impact’ – a beneficial change to society or the economy. Applications from under-represented groups, including female researchers, are particularly welcome as are interdisciplinary projects (at least 50% in the EPSRC remit).

Essential requirements:

  • the proposed activities must have a high probability of generating impact
  • the project can involve working with collaborators and external organisations, but should not be a partner-led project such as ‘contract research’ (Note that, if your application is successful, a Collaboration Agreement will be required with each collaborating organisation.)
  • the proposed activities must be deliverable on time and within budget (any amount up to £5k /project). Projects must be completed and funds fully spent by 31 December 2024 at the latest
  • the Principal Investigator (PI) should be a Postdoctoral Researcher or a Doctoral Student at the end of their studies (must be awarded their PhD by the proposed start date of the project)
  • at least one Co-Investigator (Co-I) must be a member of academic staff

Applicants are invited to get in touch to submit your expressions of interest and to request an application pack. You will be invited to meet members of the IAA Team for support with your proposal. Successful candidates will be offered mentoring support as part of the scheme. Contact:

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Contact us

Contact our IAA team for further information