From 2009 any applications for standard Research Council grants and fellowship proposals made via Je-S will need to include an Impact Summary and Impact Plan. This will detail the wider impact of the proposed research on the UK/local economy and communities. The idea is to clearly demonstrate added value, stimulate interest from wider stakeholders (e.g. the general public) and, where needed, actively highlight the need for continued investment in the research base.
The Impact Plan will take the form of an additional attachment to the Je-S document (like the Case for Support and Justification of Resources), while the Impact Summary will be a section within the Je-S form itself. Both parts should address the following questions:
- Who outside of academia will benefit from this research?
- How will they benefit?
- What will be done to ensure they have the opportunity to benefit from this research?
The peer reviewers will then be asked to consider whether the plans to increase impact are appropriate and justified, given the nature of the proposed research. The applicant should expand on the information in the Impact Summary in the Impact Plan and “describe what will be done to increase the scale or likelihood of the impact“. RC-specific Helptext on Je-S will provide details of the format for the information.
Changes to Je-S documents will take place on different dates depending on the Research Council:
January 15th 2009 – BBSRC
February 17th 2009 – AHRC and ESRC
April 21st 2009 – EPSRC, NERC and STFC
Times Higher Education has more on this news and reactions from leading academics in their latest edition.