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Integrating impact into a UKRI funding application

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Training slides by Professor Mark Reed from Fast Track Impact - find our more at: https://www.fasttrackimpact.com/training-courses

Training slides by Professor Mark Reed from Fast Track Impact - find our more at: https://www.fasttrackimpact.com/training-courses

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Integrating impact into a UKRI funding application

  1. 1. INTEGRATING IMPACT INTO A UKRI BID
  2. 2. Bid writing tips
  3. 3. Question: The review process  Initial sift/outline stage in some calls  Reviews received (with or without right of reply)  Often including reviewers outside sub-discipline and practitioners  PI response  Panel discussion  Ranking  Decision
  4. 4. Question: Before you start  Choose your call, scope panelists, get pre-reviewers  Build concept notes, teams and long-term partnerships in fundable areas before calls come out  Systematically map research in your institution in these areas to build cross-disciplinary teams  Map previous projects (especially from your target funder) in the same locations/topics  Identify stakeholders and non-academic project partners and engage in question setting if you want to co-produce your research (more later)
  5. 5. 1. Explain how many people are affected by the issues the project will address (or how you will scale the benefits) but don’t over- extrapolate 2. Use plain English and link explicitly to call in title, summary and objectives to make it through sift stage. Retain plain English in summary, objectives and impact sections of case for support for non-academic panelists Evaluating Impact Making impact-heavy bids more competitive
  6. 6. 3. Build capacity for research/development with non-academic partners e.g. via collaboration and/or training 4. Demonstrate successful partnerships based on prior/preparatory work 5. Build on existing research and development work in country and add value to global efforts Evaluating Impact Making impact-heavy bids more competitive
  7. 7. Who has a stake in my research? 1. Who might benefit from the impacts in the call? Reach out to key groups early 2. What are their interests and needs? Co-produce additional impact goals 3. How will you enable each identified group to benefit from each impact goal? Link activities to impact goals and beneficiaries Tools
  8. 8. Integrating impact into your Case for Support
  9. 9. Read and discuss Research Councils no longer require Pathways to Impact plan or Impact Summary from March 2020 “Impact is now a core consideration throughout the grant application process. To reflect this culture change we must examine how we operate and decide what steps we can take as a funder to increase the efficiency and effectiveness of the processes we use. UK Research and Innovation has therefore decided to remove the requirement for applicants to submit a Pathways to Impact plan for its schemes.” UKRI statement, 27/01/2020 What happened to impact?
  10. 10. Read and discuss  Ensure you focus on the specific impacts sought in the call  Adapt the length and focus of your text on impact to the call specification  Devote more words/detail to impact if the call scope/criteria feature impact strongly than in calls with limited or no focus on impact  For example… Guidance in calls
  11. 11. Read and discuss  Impact is not in the assessment criteria for the NERC’s Pushing the Frontiers call and this is the only mention: Impact-lite call
  12. 12. Read and discuss Impact-heavy calls
  13. 13. Read and discuss  GCRF: “Applicants must clearly articulate their impact plans, demonstrating how they meet ODA requirements throughout their ‘Case for Support’ submission.” Impact-heavy calls  The majority of UKRI’s COVID-19 application form focuses on impact:
  14. 14. Read and discuss  Assessment criteria for a recent MRC/AHRC/ESRC call have a strong focus on mental health and engagement (rather than impact) Different impact foci
  15. 15. Read and discuss  AHRC “Scoping Future Arts & Humanities Led Research” call includes a focus on international and policy impacts in its scope: Different impact foci
  16. 16. Read and discuss  Quick overview  Discuss example proposals in break-out rooms  Key ingredients to integrate  Different ways of integrating So how do you do it?
  17. 17. Read and discuss  What is the challenge or opportunity in the world?  Who would benefit beyond the academy and what would be the significance and reach? Problem statement and/or beneficiaries  What is the research challenge or opportunity?  What is original and significant for researchers in my discipline and beyond? Impact goals Research questions and goals Pathways Methods Impacts Research outputs Work plan Goals Activities Outputs and impacts
  18. 18. Who has a stake in my research? 1. Move to your break-out room 2. Individually scan/read the two bids 3. Join the discussion when you are ready What do you like about how the different bids integrate impact? Different approaches to integration Break out
  19. 19. Who has a stake in my research? Which integration approach did you like better? 1. ESRC Centre 2. GCRF Forest Network Vote now Different approaches to integration
  20. 20. Who has a stake in my research? What good practice features did you find in both bids? What would you avoid or do better? Comment in chat Different approaches to integration
  21. 21. Read and discuss 1. Integrate research and impact problem statements and/or beneficiaries in the introduction to your case for support (with a summary of this to introduce your objectives and summary sections in Je-S) 2. Integrate research and impact goals into your objectives section Key ingredients 3. Integrate pathways that lead to the delivery/monitoring of impacts into your work plan, alongside research methods that lead to research outputs
  22. 22. Read and discuss 1. Save yourself a page for impact in your Case for Support by cross-referencing to the Objectives and Academic Beneficiaries sections in Je-S Integration approaches 2. Use tables, headings and formatting to show how research and impact goals deliver tangible research outputs and impacts 3. Use diagrams and structural devices to show connections between research and impact
  23. 23. Read and discuss Research and impact problem statement and/or academic and non-academic beneficiaries Research and impact goals Research methods and impact pathways Research outputs and measurable impacts Summary
  24. 24. www.fasttrackimpact.com @fasttrackimpact

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