Pathways to Impact
Together with our research communities and partners, we want to encourage researchers to think about Pathways to Impact. Pathways to Impact offers a chance for researchers to delve deeper into looking at who is likely to benefit from their work, how to engage with them, and how to go about increasing the likelihood of this happening. Whilst UK Research and Innovation demands excellence as the main factor in deciding upon funding, Pathways to Impact is viewed as an added criterion, amongst others, for research applicants to show the potential value of their work.
A clearly thought through and acceptable pathways to impact is an essential component of a research proposal and a condition of funding. Applicants are required to use this section of the proposal to identify the potential impact of their work and to outline the steps they can sensibly make now to facilitate the realisation of those impacts.
Identified impacts should clearly align with the case made for the importance of the research but may be much broader. If a proposal is ranked high enough to be funded but does not have an acceptable Pathways to Impact it will be returned. Applicants will be asked to revise the Pathways to Impact and the proposal will only be funded once that acceptable revision has been received.
Why is impact important to EPSRC?
EPSRC helps contribute to the UK’s competitiveness and welfare through the support of an extensive range of research and postgraduate training, with a portfolio of approximately £3 billion. The intention now is to encourage researchers to look at how their work could achieve a positive impact and the pathways to bringing this to fruition. This is achieved through the inclusion of the Pathways to Impact section within the application process. ‘Impact’ itself is recognised as follows
- Academically - with regard to presenting an ascertainable contribution in academic progress in understanding methods, theory and application.
- Social & Economic - in terms of presenting an ascertainable contribution the research would make to the society and economy whether it be enhancing standard of living, economic performance or the effectiveness of public services.
These are just some indicative impact areas that could benefit through EPSRC IAA funded research:
- Knowledge – Scientific advances, Techniques
- People – Skills, People Pipeline
- Economy – Wealth creation, Inward investment, New companies, Products and Services
- Society – Quality of Life, Health, International development, Policy