Leeds Social Sciences Institute

ESRC Impact Acceleration Account Guidance 2019 – 2023

In this section:

Guidance

The Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) has awarded the Leeds Social Sciences Institute (LSSI) funding through an Impact Acceleration Account (IAA) to support Leeds researchers in the social sciences to maximise the impact and influence of their research on non-academic beneficiaries and to foster non-academic stakeholder engagement. The IAA will support a comprehensive portfolio of activities and resources across the social science community which will maximise the potential for impact of social science research and contribute to economic and societal development regionally, nationally and internationally.

The ESRC award is worth £1.3m in total and runs from 1st April 2019 – 31st March 2023.

The ESRC IAA will allow us to build on the successful University funded IAA that the LSSI has coordinated since 2015.

The objectives of the IAA are:  

  1. To embed training and development opportunities and build capacity in impact-related skills and understanding.
  2. To coordinate and maximise support for social science impact activity to provide responsive, flexible funding for innovative social science impact projects, and allow researchers at all stages of career development to connect to external partners through KE and secondment opportunities.
  3. To build new and enhanced relations with partners in the industrial and business sectors and to diversify and strengthen relations with organisations in the third sector at regional, national and international levels.
  4. To embed the social science IAA within wider interdisciplinary institutional impact activities and programmes, including those aligned to EPSRC/NERC, the University Themes/Platforms and NEXUS Building.

IAA Impact Brochure

This brochure presents case studies and outputs from the IAA scheme managed by LSSI between 2015-2019. You can download and view the brochure here.

 

Eligibility

Eligibility

  1. Project proposals must align to the ESRC’s disciplinary remit (see Appendix 2)
  2. Applications are invited from any researcher active in the social sciences who at the point of application, hold a current contract of employment at the University of Leeds which will last the duration of the proposed activity for which IAA funding is applied for.
  3. Early career researchers (ECRs) who have an employment contract as described above are eligible to apply for funding from the IAA. PhD students are only eligible to apply for PGR Placement Scheme.
  4. Applications must be led by a named Principal Investigator (PI) within the University, and projects are expected to identify external partners as co-applicants (with named responsible individuals). ‘In kind’ or cash contributions are expected from the external partners where relevant. This may include the time commitments of named external co-applicants. PIs are encourage to provide approximate costings and value of such co-funding and a letter of support from the external partner(s) that itemises all such contributions.
  5. Other Universities can also be co-applicants to IAA bids but alone do not constitute external partners for the purpose of the IAA. We would expect co-funding from other HE institutions where they are involved in any application; this may take the form of co-funding with another IAA where relevant.
  6. Awards are not for the continuation of existing research, bridge-funding nor to keep research officers/assistants employed beyond the term of their contracts. Applications should focus on the development of impact activities and outputs not research itself (see s.4 below). Applications which read like research grant proposals redrafted for the IAA are unlikely to be successful. Applications should clearly define the development of prior findings and ideas towards impact. Careful thought should be given to the kinds of impacts that are intended, how these might be realised and who the key beneficiaries are expected to be. All applications will need well-considered ‘follow on’ plans as to longer-term developments beyond the funding period.
  7. Existing ESRC (and UKRI) grant holders are able to apply to the IAA, however, it in is not anticipated that the fund will support project specific activities which would normally be included in Pathways to Impact, unless good reasons are provided as to the emergence of new impact-related opportunities which might not have been easily identified at the time the original ESRC (or other UKRI) grant application was made.
  8. Projects should have the potential to deliver economic, cultural and /or societal benefit to organisations or citizens outside academia.

ESRC Expectations and Purpose

The ESRC IAA is not restricted to applications from individuals whose research is funded by the ESRC or other research councils.

The ESRC requires that the IAA funds are to be used flexibly and rapidly to support knowledge exchange and impact and should include substantive user engagement; for example:

  1. Building relationships and networks with potential users of research to facilitate co-production of research and maximise impact.
  2. Movement and secondment of people into and from external organisations and user stakeholders.
  3. Support for translation, application and utilisation of existing research findings to enhance their impact and to enable researchers to build networks with potential users of the outcomes of their research, and further work to establish proof of concept for their innovations.
  4. Improve engagement with the public sector, policy sector, civil society, industry (including SMEs and local business) and the public.

To ensure IAAs can be used to fund a diversity of knowledge exchange and impact activity, the following are ineligible for support through the IAA:

  1. Large ESRC investments (e.g. Centres, Large Grants, Infrastructure Investments).

New research – i.e. the collection and/or analysis of new data.

Eligible Costs

All IAA awards can only cover directly incurred costs associated with the award (i.e. do not cover Full Economic Costs), which may include the following:

  • Reasonable travel, accommodation and subsistence costs
  • Equipment/consumables
  • Salaries – To support existing non-academic staff already employed by the University of Leeds or to recruit new members of staff (on a fixed-term basis)
  • Other – such as registration costs at events, production of professional materials, room bookings, catering etc.

The following costs are not eligible:

  • Academic staff time
  • Estates and indirect costs
  • Building and refurbishment costs

Application & Award Process

Application and Award Process

 There will be up to four open Calls for Proposals per academic year. Please refer to the IAA Guidelines for full details of the assessment.

Call Deadline Panel
2019
Wednesday 6th March w/c 18th March
Wednesday 8th May (PE Fund Call) w/c 20th May
Wednesday 11th September w/c 23rd September
Wednesday 13th November (PE Fund Call) w/c 25th November
2020
Wednesday 12th February w/c 24th February
Wednesday 13th May (PE Fund Call) w/c 25th May
Wednesday 9th September w/c 21st September
Wednesday 11th November (PE Fund Call) w/c 23rd November
2021
Wednesday 10th February w/c 22nd February
Wednesday 12th May (PE Fund Call) w/c 24th May
Wednesday 8th September w/c 20th September
Wednesday 10th November (PE Fund Call) w/c 22nd November
2022
Wednesday 9th February (PE Fund Call) w/c 21st February
Wednesday 13th April w/c 25th April
Wednesday 8th June w/c 20th June

Completed forms should be submitted electronically to Hannah Crow, LSSI Coordinator, who will also be available to answer specific questions about the IAA funding that are not covered in the published criteria.

The IAA Coordinator will notify applicants of the award panel’s decision within 2 weeks of the IAA panel review, at which point successful applicants will be notified of the full terms and conditions of funding and reporting requirements (please see IAA Guideline for full details)

IAA Case Studies

This page includes a full list of projects that have received/are receiving funded from the Social Sciences Impact Acceleration Account.

Responsive Mode Impact Fund

Knowledge Exchange Fellowships

PGR Placements

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