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Guidance for researchers

This page is a useful toolkit which covers a number of key areas on research impact for you to consider during the lifecycle of your proposed research project. It provides guidance on areas such as incorporating impact into funding applications, planning for impact and capturing and evidencing impact. It will soon have guides on other areas such as tracking/monitoring impact and evaluating impact.

Planning for impact

As a researcher it is important to plan to get from where you are now to where you want to be. Most research projects with successfully delivered impact have planned effectively for impact. Investing time in thinking about what societal and economic impact your project could have if it receives funding will be of great benefit to you when you come to write grant applications, especially as impact is a central consideration for many funding bodies in how they make funding decisions. This brief general guide provides advice on what to consider when developing your impact plan: Planning for research impact

Capturing / Evidencing Impact

Impact can occur at any stage of the research life cycle of your project and it is therefore important that you collect material at all stages of your project that will act as evidence of your impact. This brief guide provides advice on what to collect in order to help you do this, and gives examples of where you could collect your evidence from, depending on the nature of your research and the impact: Evidencing your research impact

Guidance when applying for funding

Guidance when applying to UKRI

Since March 2020 all UKRI schemes no longer require applicants to provide an impact summary and impact statement as part of the application. However, impact remains a central consideration on how UKRI makes funding decisions. The importance and focus of impact may differ from call to call and your Knowledge Exchange and Impact Officer can advise you on Research Council-specific requirements on what to include in your Case for Support, Justification of Resources and in the Academic Beneficiaries section of the Je-S form.

  • FBMH guide on Incorporating impact into a UKRI Research Council proposal. This includes links to standard responsive mode research grants guidance and links to what reviewers are asked to consider when assessing impact in your proposal.
  • Guidance on how and where to include impact into a standard MRC application with examples from a successful proposal can be found in the following guide to Incorporating impact into an MRC application.
  • Guidance on how and where to include impact into a standard BBSRC application with examples from a successful proposal can be found in the following guide to Incorporating impact into an BBSRC application.
  • Mark Reed from Fast Track Impact has provided very helpful advice in his article How to integrate impact into a UKRI case for support, based on his experience as both a grant author, reviewer and panel member. The article gives details on a number of key principles and techniques that can help you integrate impact effectively in your case for support.
  • Post by Ged Hall, Academic Development Consultant on Research Impact at the University of Leeds, on Including Impact in your UKRI application
  • The Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP) scheme is a leading knowledge transfer programme to support business innovation.  KTPs are available across a diverse range of public and private sectors.  Your KTP project could deliver improvements to existing products, support development of novel products and systems, as well as create frameworks to improve efficiencies in processes and upskill staff.  The University has a dedicated team of KTP experts; if you are thinking of applying or want more information, please contact the Knowledge Exchange Team in the first instance.

Guidance when applying to NC3Rs

Guidance on including 3Rs (replacement, reduction and refinement) impact in your NC3Rs proposal

Guidance when applying to NIHR

This guidance note relates to how the NIHR views impact and provides NIHR’s general advice on how to start thinking about impact when considering applying for NIHR funding.

A second guidance note will be posted soon on general key points on impact to bear in mind when writing an application to one of its ten funding programmes.

Guidance when applying to Horizon Europe

These two guidance notes 'Overview of the role of impact within Horizon Europe (Pillar II)' and 'Overview of impact in Cluster 1 (Health) within Horizon Europe (Pillar II)' are intended as an introduction to the place/importance of impact within Horizon Europe Pillar 2 funding schemes.  

Impact will make up at least 1/3rd of scoring for Research and Innovation Actions (RIA) and Innovation Actions (IA) proposals.  

If you are applying to EC, make sure you read the full call guidance as proposed impact must be related to the specific requirements of the call.