What’s the difference between your Impact Summary and Pathways to Impact statement? Anybody can confidently assert that their study proposal could lead to amazing new insight (or perhaps even new treatments), so you’ll need to be more specific… Your Impact Summary should clearly define who the potential beneficiaries are (other academics, business, clinicians, the general public etc) and how they will benefit (commercial application, policy changes, health improvements etc). The Pathways to Impact statement sets out what you are personally going to do during and beyond the lifetime of your grant to ensure these advantages are realised (how you will communicate, collaborate, train and further explore opportunities with the beneficiaries), and how you can monitor success.
What a lot of researchers miss is the fact that you can ask for money to deliver the Pathways to Impact activities – RCUK actually expects that up to 5% of the total budget will be spent on these elements. And recognising their costs will actually make your plans look more realistic and achievable. Excellent and exciting science will remain fundamental to RCUK proposal decisions for the foreseeable future, but your Impact Summary and Pathways to Impact statement are increasingly important too…. For more information and guidance check out the RCUK website.