Leeds Social Sciences Institute

ESRC Impact Acceleration Account Activities

In this section:

Responsive Mode Impact Fund

ESRC Impact Acceleration Account Supported Activities – Responsive Mode Impact Fund

Providing funding of up to £15,000 normally

The purpose of the Responsive Mode fund is to provide flexible funding for cross disciplinary projects that demonstrate strong user engagement with potential to impact on policy and / or practice in the private, public and third sectors.  The fund will support activities such as building relationships and networks with non-academic partners; the development of activities designed to apply previously completed research to policy and practice issues; the co-production of knowledge; or, policy or evidence seminars /workshops.

All projects must have at least one external, non-academic partner that is making a contribution to the project (either cash or in-kind). External partners could include national and international businesses, public and third sector organisations, or community bodies.

Responsive mode projects will be supported for a maximum of 12 months. Applicants will need to specify a start and end date of the project.

Knowledge Exchange Fellowships

ESRC Impact Acceleration Account Supported Activities – Knowledge Exchange Fellowships

Funding of up to £10,000 per fellowship

The aim of the Knowledge Exchange Fellowship scheme is to facilitate interactions between external organisations and the University which build and strengthen relationships and facilitate knowledge exchange.

The scheme will provide academic staff with an opportunity to work with a non-academic partner at their site, of for a non-academic partner to work on a project at the university for up to 12 months on either a full-time or part-time basis.

External partners may include industry, business, public sector/government organisations or third sector organisations. We are keen to support applications that focus on building and strengthening relationships between the University and external partners across the Leeds City Region as well as with national and international partners.

For outgoing exchanges, the scheme supports teaching buy-out to allow researcher to spend time at the partner organisation.  It is critical that the sabbatical does not impact on the delivery of the PI’s existing commitments and this should be managed with the current sponsor (e.g. via project extension) or Head of School. Match funding would be expected from external partners for secondments which extend beyond 6 months.

For incoming projects, this scheme will provide funding to enable individuals from external non-academic organisations to visit University of Leeds and be embedded within departments or research groups for an appropriate length of time. Visiting Practitioners will be expected to have a planned programme of KE or engagement activity for the duration of their time at the university.

PGR Placement Scheme

ESRC Impact Acceleration Account Supported Activities – Postgraduate Researcher (PGR) Placement Scheme

A scholarship of up to £1,950 will be awarded based on a 130 hour research placement

The placement scheme offers PGRs the opportunity to undertake part-time research projects within local organisations.

Working in a research capacity with an external partner, the researcher will have an opportunity to engage with the needs of the external organisation and to build the knowledge gained from the placement into their future research plans.

The time commitment for the PGR is estimated at about 130 hours in total, with weekly hours to be agreed with the organisation. Previously, PGRs have phased their projects over a 13 week period at ten hours per week. Where appropriate, the cost of necessary travel will be cover as an additional cost. Projects must be completed within a 6 month period.

Projects might involve:

  • Surveying or interviewing users or providers of relevant services to identify ways in which they could be improved
  • Evaluating a project or scoping out the potential for a new project which aims to bring social or economic benefits to a particular community
  • Gathering evidence, writing reports and responding to government consultation exercises/informing policy making

Rapid Action Fund

ESRC Impact Acceleration Account Supported Activities – Rapid Action Fund

Funding of up to £2k is available (consideration will be given for funding above this maximum threshold if sufficient justification of the exceptional nature of the project and the need for rapid and flexible funding is provided)

The rapid action fund will allow social scientists to react quickly to influence governmental, national and international debate, or respond to tactical, urgent and pressing opportunities in short timescales.

This funding could be used for but not limited to:

  • The creation of short term impact projects
  • Workshops, events, conferences or meetings that may inform impact
  • Travel to meet with national policy departments (this does not include travel to attend conferences)
  • Developing and pitching ideas for broadcast media

There will be no official deadline for rapid action fund calls, these will be assessed on a rolling basis by the IAA Coordinator, Award Panel members and LSSI Director. However, applicants are encouraged, where possible, to submit in response to the quarterly Calls for Application each year. Funding is only available for a small number of rapid action fund requests per year (no more than six), due to this successful applicants will not be allowed to submit a further application request for this award within that given year.

Public Engagement Fund

ESRC Impact Acceleration Account Supported Activities – Public Engagement Fund

Funding of up to £5k is available (consideration will be given for funding above this maximum threshold if sufficient justification of the exceptional nature of the project is provided)

To stimulate a broad range of suitable approaches to impact, the public engagement fund will seek to support public engagement within the social sciences and promote the public understanding of social science and the impacts of research on cultural life. This fund will aim to promote accessible forms of dissemination and knowledge exchange both face-to-face and through social media.

This funding could be used for but not limited to:

  • Deliberative public forums;
  • Consensus conferences;
  • Participatory performance art/theatre and exhibitions;
  • Workshops;
  • Online content for a public audience;
  • Short documentaries and animations.

One funding call will be released twice per year for the public engagement fund (dates indicated in the timetable below).

Please note that it will be the responsibility of the successful awardees to organise and administer any events in relation to this fund.

Social Science Internships

ESRC Impact Acceleration Account Supported Activities – Social Science Internships

A new initiative for the IAA, the Social Science Internships programme will be incorporated into the existing Leeds Institute of Data Analytics (LIDA) Data Scientist Internship Programme.

The programme will provide recent social science masters students (or equivalent) with the opportunity to collaborate with an academic supervisor and an external organisation to complete a specific research task.

The academic supervisor will work with businesses or other organisations to devise a research question and project and then provide guidance and mentorship to the intern. The projects will vary dependent on the organisation and academic, but this might include the analysis or visualisation of data (e.g. archival, qualitative or ‘big data’) or the formulation of engagement projects.

An open call for academic project proposals will be circulated in May 2019, the proposals will need to include engagement with an external partner and fully comply with the LIDA Data Scientist Internship Programme guidance. Successful applicants will then be matched with an intern to complete the project.

Recruitment for internships will be advertised via the University of Leeds jobs pages as training posts (grade 5), interns will be recruited in cohorts once a year (to start in October 2019). All interns will be hosted by LIDA and receive full mentorship and training and development opportunities.

Download further information about the LIDA Data Scientist Internship Programme & Application Form

ESRC Festival of Social Science

The ESRC Festival of Social Science is a celebration of the social sciences. It is designed to promote and increase awareness of social sciences and ESRC’s research, enable social scientists to engage with non-academics and increase awareness of the contributions the social sciences make to the wellbeing and the economy of the UK society.

Each year the Festival offers a week of activities celebrating the diversity of social science research, this year the festival will run from the 2nd to 9th November 2019.

Aims of the Festival:

  • encourage, support and create the opportunity for social science researchers to engage with non-academic audiences
  • promote and increase awareness of the social sciences and ESRC’s research
  • promote and increase awareness of the contributions the social sciences make to the wellbeing and the economy of the UK society
  • enable the public to engage with social science research
  • engage with teachers and young people and to raise their awareness of the social sciences.

Events must:

  • be held during the ESRC Festival of Social Science 2019 (2-9 November 2019)
  • fit with the aims and objectives of the Festival (above)
  • feature social science (ideally with a social scientist involved in the event)
  • be free to attend
  • not be aimed primarily at academic audiences.

Past event holders have included:

  • ESRC funded grant holders, postgraduate students and those working in ESRC funded investments
  • Non-ESRC funded social scientists
  • Museums, science centres and tourist sites
  • Young people organisations and schools
  • Local authorities and other government bodies
  • Social science organisations

How to apply:

Apply by submitting a Festival of Social Science Event Proposal

Application Deadline: Friday 31st May  (12 noon)

Festival Dates: 2nd November – 9th November 2019

  • Please note that although previously applicants could apply directly to the ESRC, now all University of Leeds applications must be coordinated via the recently awarded ESRC Impact Acceleration Account.

The ESRC IAA will be supporting 10 events this year, the maximum event award will be £1k, however if justification is provided for a more ambitious event, funds over £1k can be awarded with justification.

To apply to organise an event please complete the ESRC Festival of Social Science Application Form and send via email to Hannah Crow (H.E.Crow@leeds.ac.uk) by the Friday 31st May 2019 (12 noon)

If you have any questions please contact IAA Coordinator, Hannah Crow (H.E.Crow@leeds.ac.uk)

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