The University of Exeter is one of 26 institutions to be given an Impact Acceleration Account (IAA), which are designed to help academics speed up the impact of their research

Million pound grant for researchers working to solve social and economic challenges

University of Exeter researchers have been given a £1.1m grant to help improve people’s lives by working in partnership to solve pressing social and economic challenges.

The funding, from the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC), will enable social scientists to collaborate with businesses, charities and policymakers, creating new opportunities for University of Exeter research to make a positive contribution to regional, national and international communities.

The University of Exeter is one of 26 institutions to be given an Impact Acceleration Account (IAA), which are designed to help academics speed up the impact of their research. The total ESRC IAA funding is worth £27m.

Universities invest their IAA funding based on their individual needs and strategies, responding flexibly and creatively to opportunities for social scientists and potential research users to collaborate and share knowledge.

During the next four years the University of Exeter funding will be used to support regional, national and international projects developed through consultation with private, third and public sector organisations. These projects will help deepen existing links between social scientists and non-academic organisations and enable social scientists to respond quickly to urgent, rare or unforeseen events, or to take advantage of time-limited opportunities

Exeter’s IAA will be led by principal investigator Professor Claire Dunlop, from the College of Social Sciences and International Studies.  Professor Dunlop has a track record working with stakeholders including the UK Health and Safety Executive, and will lead the IAA strategic direction, working closely with staff in the University’s Innovation, Impact and Business department

Professor Mark Goodwin, Deputy Vice-Chancellor for External Engagement, said: “We are absolutely delighted to have been successful in securing this funding. It will help us make an even greater contribution to local, regional and national productivity, increase research and development spend on social sciences by business and other external partners and improve people’s lives through our work with public and third sectors.”

Professor Jennifer Rubin, Executive Chair of ESRC said: “This next generation of IAA funding will enable research organisations to build the capacity, capability and opportunity for social scientists to play their part in ensuring the UK’s world-leading research is brought to bear on the pressing social and economic challenges and opportunities we face.”

Date: 8 February 2019

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