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ESRC Impact Acceleration Account

Following the success of Impact Acceleration Account (IAA) round one (2014-2019) the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) has awarded The University of Manchester a further £1 million to continue to deliver IAA2 until 2023.

IAA2 will be used to fund knowledge exchange (KE) activities to accelerate the impact of research in the social sciences from across the University.

What are the aims for IAA2?

The University of Manchester’s aims for IAA2 are:

  • to consolidate existing strengths that emerge from the first phase of ESRC IAA funding (IAA1) and the broader University research context;
  • to encourage innovative, risk-taking impact and KE activities;
  • to continue to enhance the rigour of all KE and impact activities, including doctoral training;
  • to continue to cultivate an environment where impact and KE are core elements of higher education activities, alongside the traditional pillars of research and teaching;
  • to secure the long-term sustainability of impact and KE activities.

What schemes are available?

ESRC IAA schemes cover potential impact activities at all stages of the research process, from setting up networks to help inform or scope new research projects, to the development of activities designed to apply previous research.

Relationship building

IAA2 provides flexible support for building relationships with non-academic partners.

This scheme encourages initiatives that increase our engagement with commercial businesses. Proposals that include a direct cash contribution from one or more commercial businesses will be particularly welcomed.

Innovative proposals to develop relationships that include in-kind contributions will also be considered, where the lack of a direct contribution is justified.

Download application form

Research into practice

IAA2 focuses on activity to translate research evidence for use by research users/practitioners.

The scheme is flexible and open to innovative projects and activities that may include policy or evidence seminars, knowledge exchange or co-produced research etc.

Download application form

Staff exchanges/placements

IAA2 provides flexible support for secondment-out of academics to external partner organisations or enabling secondment-in of external partners.

This scheme is to increase the exchange of knowledge through mobility of people, enhance external links and provide the secondee with experience of working in a partner organisation.

Download application form


This new stream provides a competitive opportunity for high-impact researchers to deliver training for non-HE stakeholders based on their research findings, or deliver training for early career/PGR researchers based on reflective learning, in order to develop and communicate best practice from impact activities. We would particularly welcome applications from previous IAA award holders for training events which share expertise and best practice.

Download application form

Breakthrough stream

This new stream will fund several projects per year which take unusual, speculative routes to KE and impact, fostering a creative approach to tackle real-world problems with ambitious delivery strategies. Examples might include video blogs, podcasts, plays, artwork, and games, although this is by no means an exhaustive list and the panel are receptive to any novel ideas. Following a brief expression of interest, selected applicants will be invited to briefly present and discuss their proposal with the IAA Schemes Panel.

Download application form

Rapid Response call

We have a Rapid Response call which will open from May 2019 until funds are exhausted for the financial year for projects up to £3,000.  We will fund activities such as events, visits, website support, or AV pieces developed with a view to fostering user engagement.  Applications will be assessed on an ad-hoc basis and funded via IAA Chair’s Action.

Download application form

How do I apply?

Before you submit an application, you should contact a member of the Research Support Service.

Complete the application form for your chosen call and send to Applications will be evaluated by the ESRC IAA team and then sent to the ESRC IAA Schemes Panel for consideration.