Tagged / funding applications

Reminder: Workshop on including impact in grant applications

Impact and Funding Applications Training: Thursday 30 June 2pm-3pm Online

How to write about impact in your funding bids

Writing about impact in a grant application can be challenging. However, a strong description of the benefits you hope your project will have on society and the economy, and the means you will take to get there, can make all the difference between getting funded or not.

Book your place now on the online training session Impact and Funding Bids on 30 June at 2pm and we will help you understand what you need to include for the best chance of success, and look at the different ways impact may be considered within each call.

Although the session will include a brief look at definitions of impact, if you are new to this area it is advised that you watch the 10-minute introduction to impact video on Brightspace beforehand to get the most out of the training.

Book your place.

Upcoming Research Impact Workshops

We have several RKEDF impact-related workshops coming up over the next couple of months; please use the links below to book onto them via OD:

Getting started with research impact: what is it? 12 May, 2pm (repeated on 16th September, 10am)

Evidencing Impact 14 June, 2pm (repeated on 12 October, 2pm)

Impact and Funding Applications 30 June, 2pm

As part of the newly announced Research Conference: Building Impact on 7 June we will also be holding live sessions on the Anatomy of a Case Study, investigating what an excellent case study looks like. This will be repeated online the following day (8 June, 2pm) for those who can’t make it so do look out for booking links for this too.

If you have any questions, please contact the Impact Advisors – Amanda Lazar or Beth Steiner.

Embedding Impact in Funding Applications

Writing about impact in a grant application can be challenging, but a strong description of the benefits you hope your project will have can make all the difference between getting funded or not.

This refers to Research Impact. Although some projects will have a theoretical scope with no discernible benefit outside academia, these are unlikely to be eligible for external funding.​

You can find our A brief guide to impact on Brightspace which explains what we mean by Impact.

The Funding Landscape

Funders consider the whole call when reviewing applications, so think about what is currently big in policy/research/the media etc. The panel review all applications which have been shortlisted and will assess the potential impact of funding a group of them, not just individual projects.

PPI/participatory/engaged research has never been more important. Studies show that effective and meaningful co-production/involvement of beneficiaries enhances impact at every stage of the study​ so make sure to thread it throughout where appropriate.

A quick note on UK Research and Innovation (UKRI). Recently the Research Councils dropped their required ‘Pathways to Impact’ attachment. This does not mean that impact is no longer important in applications, but that they want to see it woven throughout.

Funder Requirements

Requirements will vary by funder, call, theme, endowment etc., so always read the guidance and speak to your Research Facilitator for advice.

Academic excellence is fundamental. Consider additional collaborators if they would provide a different angle, and include knowledge mobilisers or those who are needed for implementation.

Look out for key words in the guidance that highlight impact: engagement, non-academic partnerships/governance, regional/national significance etc. ‘Value for money’ is also common- potential research is a social return on an investment and cost consequences are scrutinised.

For projects working with developing countries you need to aim for impact on the involved population​. Try to demonstrate that the generation of impact will be led by those it most affects.

Impact in the Application

For a standard UKRI application you should be aiming to include impact in each section:

Objectives and Aims: integrate your research goals and your impact goals​ – funders want to see the need for the research.

Plain English Summary: non specialists need to be able to understand the impact so the panel can assess properly the problems you are solving and the proposed beneficiaries.

Case for Support: most of this needs to contain impact including the background to the project and its potential contribution, methods of research and their relevance/suitability, track record of the team, delivery milestones, monitoring and evaluation, success criteria etc. ​

Justification of Resources: cost impact in, you are encouraged to!​ Consider public engagement resources, evaluation costs, staff members – UKRI say that they want to see 10-15% of costs going to impact.

Work Packages (WP): either have an Impact WP, or include some impact in all of your WPs​

Fast Track Impact is full of great resources including How to integrate impact into a UKRI case for support

For all funding applications:

Make impact easy to find: use formatting, cross referencing or signposting. This can also help with wordcounts, as flowcharts and diagrams if allowed often don’t count as text.

Involve beneficiaries/stakeholders/end users in the design of the research and impact plan: BU has brilliant resources for involving the public in research, so do contact PIER or VOICE for advice.

Think about the project’s longevity​: consider what follow-on support you might need to generate/upscale impact, or how you might leverage further investment after the funding. This is difficult but funders like to see project sustainability and an exit plan.

Troubleshooting

If you have trouble identifying your potential impact, consider:

  • Aims – what do you want to change with your research?​
  • Beneficiaries/stakeholders – who will benefit?​
  • Activities – how will you reach your goals?​
  • Evaluating and evidencing – how will you demonstrate change?​

A Theory of Change model (diytoolkit.org) can be helpful in plotting these concepts.

 

Finally, remember that embedding impact at the start will improve both the application and your research, and that you should be aiming for game-changing (but realistic) results.

Some useful resources are listed below, and you can always get in touch with your Impact Advisors at impact@bournemouth.ac.uk.

Stakeholder analysis (ODI)​

Research Impact toolkit (ESRC)​

Impact tracking and evaluation (Matter of Focus)​

Impact planning guide + template (Fast Track Impact)​

Planning for impact – NIHR toolkit for researchers – ARC (many links)​

PiiAF (Public Involvement Impact Assessment Framework)​

Towards co-production in research with communities (AHRC)

Upcoming Research Impact Workshops – book now!

We have five RKEDF Impact-related workshops coming up over the next month; please use the links below to book onto them via OD:

Impact and Funding Applications: 16th February at 15:00 

Influencing Policy – with Professor Mark Reed: 1st March at 13:00

Getting started with research Impact: what is it?: 8th March at 14:00

Inspirational Impact – a lunchtime seminar with Professor Zulfiqar Khan: 24th March at 13:00

Evidencing Impact – with Saskia Gent: 29th March at 9:30

We’d be delighted to see you there!

If you have any questions, please contact the Impact Advisors – Amanda Lazar or Beth Steiner