Funding opportunity

Funding opportunity: Pre-announcement: AHRC responsive mode: follow-on funding for impact and engagement

Follow-on funding supports unforeseen knowledge exchange, public engagement, active dissemination and commercialisation activities that arise during the lifespan of, or following, an AHRC-funded project.

AHRC funds grants of up to £100,000 for a maximum of one year, and smaller grants of up to £30,000 for shorter or higher-risk activities.

From 22 June 2023, you will apply via the UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) Funding Service system in consecutive rounds with opening and closing dates for applications.

The overall approach to assessment remains the same, but core assessment criteria and application questions will be updated to be more consistent across UKRI councils.

This is a pre-announcement and the information may change.

The funding opportunity will open on 22 June 2023. More information will be available on this page by then.

Who can apply

Before applying for funding, check the following:

The project should primarily be led by the original principal investigator of the research that the proposal builds upon.

Another member of the original research team may lead the project if the nature of the proposed activity makes it more appropriate. In such cases, the original principal investigator would be expected to be named as co-investigator or at least as an advisor. This would need to be justified within the proposal.

We allow international researchers to act as co-investigators in the proposal.

There are no restrictions on how long ago the original project was funded, but if a significant amount of time has elapsed you must make the case for how the new proposal is relevant.

If you are part of a research group within a research organisation and wish to exploit a piece of research in the absence of the original principal investigator, you will need to seek their permission and where possible involve the original principal investigator in an advisory role. Your research organisation must ensure any continuity issues including intellectual property or copyright are addressed.

Proposals must:

  • be based on either previous or current research directly funded by AHRC (except research conducted under masters, doctoral or collaborative doctoral, and knowledge transfer partnerships)
  • alternatively be based on research that has been co-funded with another UKRI research council, funded entirely by another UKRI research council, or funded under UKRI-supported schemes such as the Humanities in the European Research Area joint research programme, provided the proposal genuinely falls within AHRC’s remit. In these cases you need to provide strong justification for why you are applying for AHRC funding, together with supporting evidence and the previous proposal
  • support innovative pathways to impact opportunities that could not have been foreseen at the original proposal stage and have not already been taken account of in the original award. Proposals need to demonstrate clearly how the new pathways to impact opportunities will enhance the value and wider benefit of the original AHRC-funded research project
  • exploit creative and innovative ideas rather than repeating, continuing or extending existing activities or conducting new research
  • be focused towards non-academic audiences and relevant user communities. You should show how you engage with potential users and stakeholders throughout the project

Equality, diversity and inclusion

We are committed to achieving equality of opportunity for all funding applicants. We encourage applications from a diverse range of researchers.

We support people to work in a way that suits their personal circumstances. This includes:

  • career breaks
  • support for people with caring responsibilities
  • flexible working
  • alternative working patterns

Find out more about equality, diversity and inclusion at UKRI and AHRC’s equality, diversity and inclusion policy.

What we're looking for


The proposed activities should enhance the value and wider benefit of your original research project, and have a significant economic, social, cultural or policy impact.

The follow-on funding for impact and engagement aims to:

  • explore unforeseen pathways to impact either within the lifespan of an AHRC research project or resulting from a completed research project
  • enhance the value and benefits of AHRC-funded research beyond academia
  • encourage and enable a range of interactions and creative engagements between arts and humanities research and a variety of user communities, including business, third sector and heritage sector, public policy, voluntary and community groups, or the general public


The duration of this award is up to 12 months.

Smaller awards of up to £30,000 (full economic cost) are encouraged for shorter, higher risk activities, for example the feasibility of an idea, exploring new partnerships for knowledge exchange, testing the market or investigating a new business model. Decision making times are reduced for these smaller awards.

Funding available

The full economic cost of your project can be up to £100,000.

AHRC will fund 80% of the full economic cost.

What we will fund

The activities supported by this grant can include:

  • activities enabling knowledge exchange, interactive public engagement or active dissemination. These activities must engage new user communities and audiences
  • commercialisation or proof of concept
  • activities that build upon knowledge exchange and pathways to impact already undertaken. You must take these activities in a new direction and to new audiences
  • conferences and seminars for a policy or practice audience
  • pursuit and development of new user contacts
  • feasibility studies to test the potential application of ideas emerging from the research in different business, policy, or practice contexts

What we will not fund

The grant does not cover:

  • pathways to impact activities that have already been considered in the original proposal
  • grant extension, continuing similar or existing activities, or conducting further research
  • activities to develop or extend an existing resource or website
  • activities connected to research leave or primarily funding staff time
  • support for principally academic outputs (such as an academic paper, conference or a publication)

Supporting skills and talent

We encourage you to follow the principles of the Concordat to Support the Career Development of Researchers and the Technician Commitment.

International collaboration

If your application includes international applicants, project partners or collaborators, visit Trusted Research for more information on effective international collaboration.

How to apply

UKRI Funding Service

We are running this funding opportunity on the new UKRI Funding Service. You cannot apply for this funding opportunity on the Joint Electronic Submissions (Je-S) system.

If you have not used the Funding Service before, the first step is to create an account. This process is straightforward and quick, and you will be able to do this as soon as the full funding opportunity is published on 22 June 2023.

Research support staff that have not already received an invitation to open an account should email

Core application questions

The application process across UKRI councils is being streamlined by simplifying and standardising the questions we ask you to explain your ideas. You will be asked to provide information about:

  • the vision of the project
  • the approach to the project
  • the capability of the applicant or applicants and the project team to deliver the project
  • the resources requested to do the project
  • the ethical and responsible research and innovation considerations of the project

Further details of the application questions and what assessors are looking for can be found on the UKRI website.

Further application form guidance will be published in May 2023.


During the initial phases of the Funding Service, the system will continue to develop in response to internal and external user needs. As an interim measure we will launch AHRC responsive mode funding opportunities as consecutive rounds with defined closing dates. Opening in rounds means we will be able to accommodate system developments and assess applications in a batch submitted under the same conditions.

Applications may be submitted at any time while a round is open; you do not need to wait until the closing date. AHRC will begin to process applications as soon as we receive them, so if an application is submitted early in a round we may be able to provide you with an earlier decision.

The first round on the Funding Service will open on 22 June at 9:00am UK time.

The closing date for the first round via the Funding Service will be 14 September 2023 at 4:00pm UK time.

The second round will open at the end of September, details of the dates will be published in July.

You should ensure that you are aware of and follow any internal institutional submission deadlines that may be in place.

How we will assess your application

In assessing applications we will consider:

  • quality and importance
  • management of the project
  • value for money
  • output, dissemination and impact
  • principal investigator response (only for proposals over £30,000)

For more details, see the research funding guide.

Proposals over £30,000 (full economic costing)

Proposals will be subject to two specialist peer reviews by members of AHRC’s Peer Review College, followed by a response from the principal investigator. The proposal, reviews, and the principal investigator response will be moderated by a review panel who will make funding recommendations to AHRC.

We aim to complete the assessment process within 14 to 16 weeks. The earliest start date for the project should be no earlier than five months and no later than nine months after submission.

Proposals under £30,000 (full economic costing)

Proposals will be reviewed directly by the panel, and the principal investigator will not be offered a response.

We aim to complete the assessment process within six weeks. The earliest start date for the project should be no earlier than three months and no later than nine months after submission.

Principles of assessment

UKRI supports the San Francisco declaration on research assessment and recognises the relationship between research assessment and research integrity.

Find out about the UKRI principles of assessment and decision making.

We reserve the right to modify the assessment process as needed.

Contact details

Ask about this funding opportunity and get help with the Funding Service


We aim to respond to emails within two working days.

Phone: 01793 547490

Our phone lines are open:

  • Monday to Thursday 8:30am to 5:00pm UK time
  • Friday 8:30am to 4:30pm UK time

Additional info

Supporting documents

Research funding guide

This is the website for UKRI: our seven research councils, Research England and Innovate UK. Let us know if you have feedback.