Research Councils UK describe impact in the following ways:
The demonstrable contribution that excellent research makes to academic advances, across and within disciplines, including significant advances in understanding, methods, theory and application.
When applying for Research Council funding via Je-S, pathways towards academic impact are expected to be outlined in the Academic Beneficiaries and appropriate Case for Support sections.
Economic and societal impacts
The demonstrable contribution that excellent research makes to society and the economy. Economic and societal impacts embrace all the extremely diverse ways in which research-related knowledge and skills benefit individuals, organisations and nations by:
- fostering global economic performance, and specifically the economic competitiveness of the United Kingdom,
- increasing the effectiveness of public services and policy,
- enhancing quality of life, health and creative output.
When applying for Research Council funding via Je-S, pathways towards economic and societal impacts are expected to be outlined in the Impact Summary and Pathways to Impact. The RCUK Statement of Expectation on Economic and Societal Impacts and RCUK Knowledge Exchange Principles outlines considerations that we expect every funding recipient to undertake.
The following diagram provides an indication of the potential range of impacts that can be generated from research.
Download a PDF version of the above diagram
The Research Councils recognise that the research we fund has both academic, and economic and societal impacts. We also recognise that impacts from research can be generated through a range of diverse pathways, take many forms, become manifest at different stages in the research lifecycle and beyond, and can be promoted in many different ways. This, and the potential complexity and diversity of impacts from research, is reflected within the Research Council assessment and reporting process.