RCUK Impact

Confused about what on earth MRC, BBSRC or any of the other Research Councils mean by ‘Impact Summary’ vs ‘Pathways to Impact’? Fear not – your Research Facilitator can help you tackle these, which are becoming an increasingly important part of the review process to help decide between a range of strong science proposals. Continue reading


Do you comply with open-access mandates?

Many of our research funders (including the Wellcome Trust, RCUK, Royal Society, Cancer Research UK and EU Horizon 2020) support open and unrestricted access to published research.

Importantly, RCUK’s open-access policy came into effect on 1st April 2013, and all papers resulting from Research Council-funded activities must now be published in open-access journals or placed in open repositories. RCUK will provide block grants to HEIs for the payment of article processing charges (APCs) and other publication charges, so you’ll no longer be able to include these costs within individual grant applications. Continue reading

What the FEC?

You may have noticed how much more expensive RCUK submissions with overheads are than charity proposals without these costs. The overheads addition is often assumed to be a lucrative money-grabbing scheme by the University, but there is another side to the story…

The concept of ‘full Economic Costing’ (fEC) was developed after government reviews between 1997 and 2004 showed the financial unsustainability of staff time, estates, infrastructure and various other costs of academic research… Continue reading

Impact Summary vs. Pathways to Impact

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.