What the ESRC expects
ESRC requires the researchers we fund to consider the potential scientific, societal and economic impact of their research.
We do not expect you to be able to predict the impact of your research. However, by considering impact from the outset, we expect you to:
- Explore who could potentially benefit from your work
- Look at how you can increase the chances of potential beneficiaries benefiting from your work.
Opportunities for making an impact may arise, and should be taken, at any stage during or after the lifecourse of your research. It is important that you have in place a robust plan for maximising the likelihood of such opportunities arising and your capacity for taking advantage of these.
All applicants are required to complete a Pathways to Impact. The Research Councils UK Pathways to Impact website gives detailed guidance on you how you should set out the potential impact of your work as part of your application for research funding.
More information can be found on ESRC impact, innovation and interdisciplinary expectations.
Our impact toolkit provides a comprehensive guide to achieve the maximum impact for your work.
For all ESRC-funded large investments, a strategy for how you intend to maximise your impacts must be submitted to the ESRC for approval. It is important to consider the potential impact of your research from the beginning of your programme. To help you with this, we have developed a step-by-step guide. This takes you through the issues you will need to think about and gives advice on planning activities to help you generate impact. See the section on developing a strategy.