New funding received to maximise the societal and economic benefits from social science research


The Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) are now part of the University of Liverpool’s harmonised Impact Acceleration Awards – University of Liverpool academic researchers can apply now.

The University of Liverpool is one of 32 research organisations across the UK who will now benefit from the Economic and Social Research Council’s (ESRC’s) support through a five-year Impact Acceleration Account (IAA). This is a significant achievement given the highly competitive process and over the next five years will provide the University of Liverpool with £1.25m of funding to support social science impact.

ESRC Interim Executive Chair Professor Alison Park said: “The social, behavioural and economic research we fund helps us understand how we live and how society functions, throwing new light on how best to tackle our most pressing challenges. This investment creates a network of research organisations with dedicated funding to support and accelerate the impact of this research.”

“We have already seen the benefits of previous rounds of IAA funding, which have leveraged an extra £52 million from partners ranging from local government to private business. This new cohort of 32 research organisations in receipt of IAA funding is the largest and most diverse group ESRC has funded. I look forward to seeing how these investments maximise the impact of social science research.”

Professor Alex Singleton, Discipline Lead for the ESRC IAA at the University of Liverpool said: “This ESRC IAA will have a transformative effect for the University of Liverpool, enabling us to extend and accelerate the translation of our world leading social science research into real world impact and applications.”

“Social Science research occurs within and across all three faculties of the University and is highly interdisciplinary. The ESRC IAA will be integrated with our harmonised IAA scheme to maximise potential for social science impact irrespective of where it is found.”

Engaging the public with research

Research organisations that are awarded ESRC IAA funding also participate in ESRC’s annual, UK-wide Festival of Social Science.

The 2022 Festival connected more than 14,250 people across the UK with social, economic and behavioural science.

Read more about the UK-wide ESRC IAA funding announcement here.

The University of Liverpool’s UKRI harmonised IAA 2022-25 Award Programme – now open

The new harmonised approach to IAA funding enables and encourages interdisciplinary impact activities, helping focus investment in areas where knowledge exchange, translation, adoption, and commercialisation have the greatest potential.

The next round of the harmonised Impact Acceleration Account (IAA) is now open, with a submission deadline of 1pm on Wednesday 26 April 2023. This application replaces individual research council IAA calls.

This award, funded by multiple UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) Impact Acceleration Accounts (IAA) now totalling over £3 million, will be used to support various impact creation activities.

The University's harmonised award is funded by UKRI research councils:

  • Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) - joined the IAA programme for the first time in 2022.
  • Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC)
  • Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC)
  • Medical Research Council (MRC)
  • Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) - joined the IAA programme for the first time in March 2023.

The total award replaces IAA funding allocated in previous years by the BBSRC, EPSRC and MRC individually.

Professor Anthony Hollander, Pro-Vice Chancellor for Research and Impact at the University of Liverpool and Institutional Lead on the UKRI harmonised IAA awards, said: “We’re delighted to receive the UKRI IAA awards to support the process of driving research translation and cross-disciplinary impact creation. This will significantly help our University continue to play a crucial role as a knowledge exchange anchor and an enabler of local growth and regeneration, and continue to drive innovative and cutting-edge research on the global research impact map.”

How to apply

University of Liverpool academic researchers can find further information, eligibility criteria and an application form on the IAA internal website here.