Researchfish reporting

In order to continue making the strongest possible case for government investment in social science research, we need to understand the effects of our funding.

To achieve this, we require our principal investigators to tell us about the outputs, outcomes and impact generated by their funding, using the Researchfish system.

You can update your Researchfish portfolio throughout the year as and when outputs are generated. However you must submit your portfolio during the annual submission period. The next UKRI submission period date can be found on the UKRI Research Outcomes webpage.

You are required to complete Researchfish every year your grant is active and usually for five years after it has ended. This period can vary depending on the type of grant you hold. If you do not make a submission you will be ineligible to apply for further funding from UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) and may have your active funding suspended until the issue is resolved.

We also ask our ESRC-funded PhD students to complete a Researchfish submission from their third year onwards.

How the Researchfish data is used

We use the Researchfish data for a variety of purposes. It is made publicly available on Gateway to Research  where it is available to download and allows anyone to view the outcomes of the research we fund. We use it to inform stakeholders about the outputs our research is generating and to make the case to government for the continued public investment in social science research. We also use it to develop case studies to highlight the outcomes and impact of our research. This means that it's very important that submissions are completed fully and accurately.

We have produced the following analyses of our researchfish data:

Additional reporting requirements

In addition to the requirement to complete Researchfish, there are also three ESRC specific reporting requirements that apply to principal investigators and fellows.

We ask that you complete your key findings and narrative impact reports in Researchfish each year that you make a submission. If your grant has just started, you are able to state that it is too early to have generated findings and impact.

In addition, we expect you to deposit any data that you created or repurposed during the lifetime of the grant with a responsible data repository and provide metadata relating to it via the UK Data Service. Please follow the guidance on submitting datasets and ensure that you read our research data policy.

We have recently made changes to how we monitor the additional reporting requirements.  This affects any reports that would have been due from November 2019 onwards.  We will send and complete the following reminders and checks to ensure that the reporting requirements have been completed:

  • We will remind you to deposit your data when your grant ends. 
  • We will remind you to complete your key findings in researchfish during the first submission period after your award ends (including if your award ends during that submission period).  We will check you have done this after that submission period. 
  • We will remind you to complete your narrative impact during the second submission period after your award ends. We will check you have done this after that submission period. 

If these requirements are not met, you will be ineligible to apply for funding from the ESRC until this is rectified.

Large-scale initiatives have additional final reporting requirements. Your investment manager will also be able to advise on what is required.

There may also be separate reporting requirements for placement grants. Doctoral Training Centres should not use the Researchfish system and have their own reporting requirements.

Help and support

More detailed guidance on how to complete Researchfish and what is expected can be found on the UKRI website.

There is also ESRC specific guidance (PDF, 45Kb) on the type of output information we would like to see submitted as well as guidance on completing your key findings (PDF, 36Kb) and narrative impact (PDF, 35Kb) reports.

To learn more about the Researchfish system, please visit the Researchfish website.

If you think that you should have received an invitation to set up a Researchfish account but haven't, or if you have any other nontechnical support questions, please get in contact with the UKRI Research Outcomes Support Team at or 0800 2922 478.

For technical queries about the Researchfish system, please contact Researchfish directly. They can be contacted at or through the live chat on their website.

If you would like to speak to ESRC directly about your Researchfish submission, or if you have questions about our ESRC specific reporting requirements, please contact us at or 01793 413129.