Achieving impact in academic research within the context of the funding landscape in the UK

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


The UK government, where much research funding emanates from, is putting and increasing amount of emphasis on the palpable and demonstrable impact that the research it is funding is able to demonstrate.
Research impact has become an important priority for the government which has cascaded down into the governmental led funding bodies and ultimately into all funding bodies and grounds root research in all disciplines. Impact in research also demonstrates added value in terms of societal and economic effect for all stakeholders who have an interest or who are affected by research, including the general public. A defined and explicit route to impact is now usually required in all research proposals and funding bids as a condition of funding. The Research Council UK (RCUK) which provides the strategic leadership and direction for the seven governmental funded research councils in the UK provides detailed definitions, case studies and directions as to the method of achieving impact in research, in addition to the ‘pathways to impact’ guidance sections within the websites of the research councils themselves (see the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) at for an example). Most research councils also make it explicit within their guidelines that the research proposals will be returned, even if they have achieved the required standard through the relevant pointage system if their impact strategy is not clearly defined, adequate and cognizant of relevant stakeholders. Ultimately, achieving impact in research ensures that there will be a continued investment in academic research in the UK.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationBusiness, Economy and Society: Issues for Research in a Knowledge and Information Society
Number of pages7
Publication statusPublished - 2016


  • academic research
  • impact assessment
  • funding
  • Research Council UK
  • UK government


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