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The University of Cambridge has been awarded another round of funding for an Impact Acceleration Account (IAA) from the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) to run from 2019-2023 (ES/T501864/1).

The ESRC IAA will be used to support a number of activities focussed on generating impact from social science research, some of which include:

  • Dedicated funding for social science impact;
  • One-to-one impact support to researchers;
  • Events, training, and online materials for devising impact plans;
  • Commercialisation and technology transfer support from Cambridge Enterprise;
  • Policy engagement through the Centre for Science and Policy;
  • Enterprise training for researchers looking to commercialise their research, provided by the Entrepreneurship Centre at Judge Business School and the Maxwell Centre Impulse Programme;
  • Recognition for impact and public engagement through the annual Vice Chancellor’s Awards for Impact and Public Engagement.

ESRC IAA Social Science Impact Fund

The Social Science Impact Fund (SSIF) aims to support the use of research and expertise through the development of relationships with non-academic stakeholders, beneficiaries, and partners. This can be done in a number of ways but begins with thinking carefully about the people, groups, organisations or bodies that you hope to work with and by clearly identifying the best methods for engaging those stakeholders. Understanding stakeholder needs is vital to strong impact work and leads to a clear understanding of how success can be measured and evaluated. The University of Cambridge has an established and experienced impact ecosystem and can support researchers in developing ways to apply their research by working with policy makers, industry partners, arts communities, the wider public, and others.

Impact activities can be undertaken at any point in the research life cycle. In developing research plans, impact activities and opportunities to engage with stakeholders can be included in pathways to impact statements but should unanticipated opportunities emerge at later stages, the Social Science Impact Fund can support emerging activities from two distinct streams:

  1. Impact Fund
  2. Discretionary Fund

Although each funding stream is dedicated to support impact arising at various points, both streams must make clear how activities meet the aims of ESRC IAA Social Science Impact Fund.

ESRC IAA Social Science Impact Fund is now open for applications. Please complete the Social Science Impact Fund online form by 30th Sepember 5PM.

For details of the Cambridge ESRC IAA Social Science Impact Fund please see the Guidance for Applicants and Annexes.

Should you wish to discuss your draft application with Dr Tina Basi, Social Science Impact Facilitator, please complete these working templates below.

For more information contact Dr Tina Basi, Social Science Impact Facilitator

ESRC Festival of Social Science

This annual event is a celebration of the social sciences and takes place across the UK via public debates, conferences, workshops, interactive seminars, film screenings, virtual exhibitions and much more. 2020 will be the eighteenth Festival of Social Science and each year the Festival has gone from strength to strength.


The ESRC Festival of Social Science will run again in 2020 – details will be posted nearer the time.


In the meantime, take a look at ESRC’s webpages for information about previous Festivals.