Impact in Funding Applications

Applications for research grants from external funders often require researchers to consider how they will or might achieve impact outside the scientific community. Applicants should aim to identify who could benefit from the research and consider the ways that the project can maximise the likelihood of impact.

Since March 2020, UKRI and its Research Councils no longer require Pathways to Impact and Impact Summaries in research proposals. Instead, applicants must consider, as part of the case for support, who could potentially benefit from their research, and what they will do to make this happen. 

“Impact is now a core consideration throughout the grant application process.”
UK Research and Innovation January 2020

The extent to which impact features in the assessment criteria for funding calls varies from call to call and applicants should refer to the specific guidance for individual calls. Some general guidance for each Research Council is below:

Please contact your faculty’s Research Impact Officer for further advice when writing about impact in your application.

The Designing Engagement and Evaluation for Impact Framework is a useful tool to help you plan for impact and to identify and write about activities, outputs/deliverables, and intended outcomes of your research in funding applications.