We provide funding for knowledge exchange (KE) activities through Impact Acceleration Accounts (IAAs). IAAs are block awards made to Research Organisations (ROs) to accelerate the impact of research.

We have invited 29 ROs in receipt of substantial levels of research investment from the ESRC to apply for IAAs. Our new round of IAAs will begin in April 2019 and follows our previous funding of 24 IAAs from 2014.

IAAs allow ROs to respond to KE opportunities in more flexible, responsive and creative ways. IAAs provide ROs with agility and flexibility to make decisions about how to invest IAA funding in ways that best suit their institutional strategies and opportunities. Our IAA funding builds capacity and creates opportunities for the social sciences to work across disciplines to progress research outputs and outcomes towards impact. ESRC IAAs proactively engage across their institution to build networks and leverage funding vital for sustainability of KE and impact.


We will be using a competitive process to award up to 25 new IAAs and support for Transition IAAs, beginning April 2019. Our total investments in IAAs will support them over four years. 

Key areas

IAAs funding will be used to address the following objectives:

  • To strengthen RO knowledge exchange through culture change, including through the development of skills for KE activity
  • To strengthen RO and researcher user engagement
  • To support knowledge exchange at early stages of progressing research outputs and outcomes to the point when they can be supported by other funding
  • To support new, innovative and imaginative approaches to KE and impact, including processes that enable 'fast failure' and appropriate learning
  • To support activities that enable impact to be achieved in an effective and timely manner, including secondments and people exchange.

In addition to these common UKRI IAA objectives, ESRC IAAs will also:

  • Demonstrate how longer term support for and sustainability of KE/impact support would be maintained, as well as
  • Demonstrate how ESRC will see the benefits via stronger, well thought out pathways to impact plans to the grant applications received.

How to apply

This is an invite-only call.

Eligible organisations will be required to complete the research council IAA business plan template and submit by email (iaa@esrc.ac.uk) by 16:00 on 12 July 2018.

Further information can be found in the full call text and guidance notes below.

Call documents

Key dates

  • Business Plan submission deadline - 16:00 on 12 July 2018
  • Panel meeting - September 2018
  • Decisions and funding announced - end of September 2018
  • IAA Round 2 start date - 1 April 2019