Pathways to Impact

Pathways to Impact (up to two sides of A4 attachment): The information in your Pathways to Impact is primarily for detailing the activities that will increase the likelihood of potential economic and societal impacts being achieved. It should continue on from the two questions addressed within your Impact Summary by addressing the following question:

Please detail how the proposed research project will be managed to engage beneficiaries* and increase the likelihood of impacts. Include timescales and required resources i.e. the cost of the activities that would be undertaken as a part of the project. Also briefly note your track record in this area. For STFC applications please detail how the project will be managed to best access impact specific funding.

*The Pathways to Impact attachment should outline the beneficiaries and users of the research, for example the public sector, commercial private sector, third sector or the wider public in general. Plans for engaging with academic audiences may be included, but only where these form part of the critical pathway towards economic and societal impact.

The following guidance is not designed to be used as a template for completing your Pathways to Impact, but provides an indication of the potential types of activities to consider.

1) Types of impact activities

Please note that we do not expect every application to address each of the following bullet points within the Pathways to Impact attachment.

Do you have any specific engagement or collaborative partnership in place to facilitate the exploitation and application of the research e.g. to shape policy and practice? How will the outputs and potential impacts be identified? What structure and mechanisms can you put in place to manage, exploit and protect the intellectual assets and outputs from the research, during and at the end of the grant lifecycle?

How have beneficiaries been engaged to date, and how will they be engaged moving forward? How will the work build on existing links or create new links? Outline activities to work with intermediary organisations or networks.

Different activities and pathways for realising the potential impact of the research may be appropriate for different groups of beneficiaries depending on their level of engagement.

Roles and responsibilities of all parties in relation to impact; nature of the relationships e.g. established or newly formed; nature, value and significance of any contributions to the proposed project; and details of any formal collaboration agreements or future plans for collaboration agreements.

Have the beneficiaries and collaborations been involved with the design of the research to maximise the potential up-take and application of the research?

The PI or Co/I and named researchers; specialised staff employed to undertake communication and exploitation activities; and technical experts to write publications, web pages and user-friendly interfaces. What previous and relevant experience do they have in achieving successful knowledge exchange and impacts? How will they acquire any additional skills required?

Are any post-doctoral researchers and PhD students involved with the related impact activities in addition to the research? If so, how will they acquire the skills required?

2) Impact activity deliverables and milestones

Include timescales for delivering the impact activities set out within your Pathways to Impact. Describe the key milestones during the project and ways to measure the success of the impact activities. For example, monitoring and evaluating the Pathways to Impact every six months, advisory groups to shape future activities, using questionnaires, stakeholder surveys, collecting website statistics and impact activity data and/or conducting exit polls at the end of key activities to determine if the needs of user communities have been met. 

3) Summary of resource (for the impact activities)

Provide a brief summary of the resources required to undertake the impact activities. Full details should be included in the Summary of Financial Resources section of the Je-S form and the Justification of Resources attachment.

Guidance for requesting resources - applicants may request resources within the full economic costs of grants to cover the costs of project-specific activity within their Pathways to Impact not covered by the indirect costs.  Unless applying via STFC where the following rules apply: applicants to STFC may request resources for public engagement work in grant applications, and should also note that grant-holders may in addition spend up to 1% of total grant value up to a maximum of £10k on public engagement if savings are subsequently found. The STFC also runs separate funding schemes to support impact activities, including knowledge exchange and public engagement. For knowledge exchange work, applicants to STFC should apply to one of its other schemes for funding and cannot request resource in a grant application.

Any costs or additional time requested in applications for such activities should be reasonable and fully justified in the application and will be subject to value for money considerations in the assessment of applications in the same way as other directly incurred costs. Please ensure these are documented in the financial summary and also in the Justification of Resources section of the proposal.

Eligible costs - can include employment of specialist knowledge transfer staff, consultancy fees, publication and marketing costs, public engagement activity, engagement events, networking activities, people exchange, etc. Please see the Impact Requirements Frequently Asked Questions for further information.

Note: the maximum length for the Pathways to Impact attachment is two pages, but it is not expected that all applications will require this level of detail. 

The RCUK Typology of Research Impacts provides an indication of the potential range of impacts that can be generated from research. The checklist for completing Pathways to Impact provides an indication of potential wider beneficiaries of research and activities/pathways to impact.

For further guidance, please see the Impact Requirements Frequently Asked Questions and visit the RCUK Pathways to Impact web-pages.

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