• Investment enables research organisations to develop flexible, creative and tailored approaches to increase the social and economic impact of science
  • Second wave of scheme builds on previous success to fund innovative and sustainable approaches to knowledge exchange at 26 research organisations across the UK

The Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) is announcing £27 million of funding for Impact Acceleration Accounts (IAAs) at research organisations across the UK. Over the next four years this second round of ESRC IAAs will help social scientists collaborate with businesses, policymakers and civil society, creating new opportunities for research to make a positive contribution to society and the economy.

IAAs are block awards made to research organisations to speed up the impact of research. Research organisations can make decisions about how to invest their IAA funding based on their individual needs and strategies, responding flexibly and creatively to opportunities for social scientists and potential research users to collaborate and share knowledge. ESRC IAAs create opportunities for the social sciences to work with other disciplines and proactively engage across their institution to build networks and leverage funding vital for sustainability of knowledge exchange and impact. 

Building on a first round of ESRC IAAs, these 26 new awards continue to focus on building capacity, skills and culture around knowledge exchange within research organisations, as well as strengthening engagement opportunities with research users, including at an early stage and in innovative ways. IAAs are also intended to enable organisations to focus on longer term sustainability of knowledge exchange and impact support, and to help improve plans for supporting impact included within new research projects.

Following a competitive, peer-reviewed process open to invited research organisations that receive substantial levels of research investment from the ESRC, 26 research organisations from across the UK have been awarded IAA funding, which will commence from 1 April 2019. This includes six research organisations that have not previously held ESRC IAA funds. 

Professor Jennifer Rubin, Executive Chair of ESRC said: “This next generation of IAA funding will enable research organisations to build the capacity, capability and opportunity for social scientists to play their part in ensuring the UK’s world-leading research is brought to bear on the pressing social and economic challenges and opportunities we face.”

The research organisations awarded round two IAA funding are: 

  • University of Birmingham
  • University of Bristol
  • University of CambridgeCardiff University
  • Durham University
  • University of Edinburgh
  • University of Essex
  • University of Exeter
  • University of Glasgow
  • Institute for Fiscal Studies
  • King's College London
  • Lancaster University
  • University of Leeds
  • University of Leicester
  • University of Manchester
  • National Institute of Economic and Social Research (NIESR)
  • Newcastle University
  • University of Nottingham
  • University of Oxford
  • Queen's University Belfast
  • University of Sheffield
  • University of Southampton
  • University of Surrey
  • University of Sussex
  • University of Warwick
  • University of York