Pre-announcement: improve and accelerate the impact of your organisation’s research

Apply for funding to help your organisation’s research have an impact.

This funding opportunity combines these impact acceleration account (IAA) programmes:

  • MRC Confidence in Concept.

Your organisation must be eligible for funding from the relevant council. To be eligible to apply for EPSRC funding, your organisation must have been invited.

You are applying on behalf of your whole organisation and you will decide where to invest the funding. Your organisation can use the funding creatively for a wide range of impact activities.

Funding will start in April 2022. It will last for three years.

This page will be updated in July 2021 with the full details.

Who can apply

Institutional level leads can apply for IAA funding. Your organisation must be eligible for UKRI funding generally.

Find out who can apply for funding.

UKRI councils inviting applications for IAA funding are:

  • AHRC – by open competition
  • BBSRC – by open competition
  • EPSRC – invite only
  • MRC – by open competition
  • STFC – by open competition.

Current Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) IAA award holders do not need to apply as their funding ends March 2023.

MRC continues to support applications from consortia.

The participating councils will now support the best opportunities for impact irrespective of how the original research was funded.

Where open competition applies, each research organisation will need to demonstrate a significant research base in the research councils’ remit areas in order to be competitive.

Full eligibility criteria, including eligible UK research organisations, permitted activities and costs, will be provided when the funding opportunity opens in July.

What we're looking for

Apply for institutional funding to unlock the impact of your organisation’s research-base.

They support a breadth of impact activities that allow funding to be used in flexible, responsive and creative ways.

IAAs provide research organisations with agility to make decisions about how to invest the funding in ways that best suit your institutional strategies and opportunities.

The awards add value to existing funding and take advantage of new or unforeseen opportunities to facilitate the realisation of impact.

You must use your IAA funding to:

  • strengthen engagement with users in order to accelerate the translation of research outputs into impacts
  • support, develop and foster strategic partnerships for knowledge exchange and impact, including across disciplines and sectors
  • build and maintain an environment and culture that enables effective and ambitious knowledge exchange and impact, including development of skills, capacity and capability within research organisations
  • provide early-stage support for progressing research outputs towards the next stages in the impact pipeline, for example:
    • proof of concept projects
    • commercialisation
    • market validation
    • activities targeting policy, business and the third sectors
  • drive continuous improvement in impact by supporting innovation, enabling ‘fast failure’, and capturing learning through appropriate mechanisms
  • enable flexible and adaptive approaches to knowledge exchange and impact, including the ability to respond quickly to emerging opportunities.

We are seeking institutional level applications that support knowledge exchange, user, policy and third sector engagement, translation and early-stage commercialisation.

Applications must be coordinated at an institutional level.

You need to demonstrate the value of IAAs to your whole institution’s strategy and maximise opportunities to bring together approaches.

However, IAAs should also retain sensitivity to the needs of different research and innovation communities.

Details of IAA approach to equality, diversity and inclusion, and responsible innovation will also be asked for.

Full details of IAA aims will be provided when the funding opportunity opens.

How to apply

We will ask you to complete a single UKRI-wide IAA application template on behalf of your organisation.

It must include a harmonised section covering research organisation strategy and aspects of leadership and management.

Include additional sections for each participating council you apply to for funding (dependent on eligibility, as above).

Full details on how to apply will be included in the full announcement.

How we will assess your application

Applications will be assessed independently by each participating council and each participating council retains its responsibility for funding decisions.

Therefore, applicants should note that it will be possible to receive funding from one, some or all of the councils applied to.

Full guidance on assessment criteria will be published in July 2021.

Contact details

Ask about this funding opportunity


If your query is about a particular council’s approach, please specify the council in the subject header.

Additional info

UKRI has combined IAA funding across councils, including in this first instance:

  • AHRC
  • STFC
  • MRC Confidence in Concept programme.

This will help research organisations have an impact within academia and beyond, by:

  • reducing bureaucracy
  • supporting the best opportunities for impact, irrespective of how the original research was funded
  • standardising award duration, to allow recipient organisations to improve strategic planning for developing research impact.

UKRI is seeking to better enable the generation of impact through alignment of timelines and processes, including award duration and monitoring, to allow organisations to improve strategic planning for developing research impact across and between disciplines.

As the first step in the harmonisation process, we will be launching a funding opportunity in July with a closing date early October.

Awards will start from April 2022 and will be harmonised in duration to provide continuity of funding over three years.

Current ESRC IAAs will not be part of this funding opportunity.

As part of the ongoing commitment to strengthen IAAs, we will continue to seek opportunities to reduce bureaucracy and make further improvements beyond this initial funding opportunity, including introducing combined, single reporting across all IAAs.

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