ESRC Impact Acceleration Accounts

The Institute for Fiscal Studies has been awarded an Impact Acceleration Account (IAA) from the Economic and Social Research Council. Funding will be provided over four years, starting in the Summer 2014.

IAAs are block awards made to Research Organisations to accelerate the impact of research.  They also allow Research Organisations to respond to knowledge exchange opportunities in more flexible, responsive and creative ways than centrally administered schemes.

The IAAs funding are being used flexibly and rapidly to support the following key areas:

  • Building relationships and networks with potential users of research to facilitate co-production of knowledge and maximise impact
  • Movement and secondment of people between Research Organisations and user stakeholders
  • Support for researchers to build networks with potential users of the products of their research, and further work to establish ‘proof of concept’ for their innovations
  • Drive culture change in Research Organisations to promote knowledge exchange and improve related skill sets and capabilities
  • Improve engagement with the public sector, civil society, industry (including SMEs, local business and the Technology Strategy Board) and publics.

Accelerating our impact

This initiative provides us with a welcome opportunity to extend and formalise our impact activities and to greatly improve the way in which we communicate, engage and co-operate with key stakeholder communities.

As a small and entirely project funded organisation we often do not have the resource to pursue impact after projects are complete or on a reactive basis, and breaking into new areas can be very difficult. The IAA will allow us to pursue impact in some areas where we have not had the resource to invest in the past – notably the corporate sector and local government – as well as allowing us to invest in ensuring our staff are equipped to maximise impact, and to make more use of previous research and accumulated knowledge in pursuing impact.

We very much welcome the chance to build upon existing activities and to identify and respond flexibly to new impact opportunities.

Managing the IAA

The IAA management team will work closely with the IAA Steering Group, with IFS researchers at all career stages and with other Research Organisations with IAA’s to ensure that this award is used to maximum effect.

Paul Johnson, IAA Grant Holder and project lead
Luke Sibieta, IAA Research lead
Bonnie Brimstone and Emma Hyman, IAA Administration lead