Swansea University secures share of £40m investment to boost benefits of social science research

Swansea University is one of 32 research organisations across the UK that will benefit from the Economic and Social Research Council’s (ESRC) support through a five-year Impact Acceleration Account (IAA) award of £1.25 million.

IAAs enable research organisations to support a wide range of social, economic and behavioural science impact activities. The funding generates greater benefits from research, helping create a more prosperous, inclusive, healthy and secure society.

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.

“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 Helen Griffiths, Pro Vice Chancellor for Research & Innovation at Swansea University said: “Securing ESRC IAA funding for the first time in Swansea University’s history is a landmark achievement that we are enormously proud to celebrate. The ESRC Impact Acceleration Account adds to the Arts & Humanities Research Council IAA, the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) IAA and Medical Research Council (MRC) IAA we secured in 2022 and is testament to the impactful and internationally excellent multi-disciplinary research taking place here in Swansea.

“These UKRI strategic awards are enabling us to respond to impact opportunities in flexible, responsive and creative ways. By engaging with research users, beneficiaries and partners in an agile way, we are accelerating the translation of research findings and knowledge into impacts.”

Professor Jonathan Bradbury, Associate Dean – Research, Innovation and Impact (RII) for the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences said: “This award of ESRC IAA funding recognises the world leading and internationally excellent research being undertaken here in Swansea in the social sciences. It puts us in a leading position to promote and accelerate the impact of social science research.

“Over the next five years we will use the IAA award to help us to further develop impacts to address some the world’s major problems on a Welsh, UK-wide and international basis.”

 The Swansea University ESRC Impact Acceleration Award will be focused on developing impacts from research in a wide range of subject areas in collaboration with government, third sector and private sector partners. The award will develop impacts from the application of cutting-edge data science approaches to complex social problems; as well as the application of technical innovations to address problems.

There will be a focus on commercialisation of social science innovations.  Equally, we will develop research impacts that address local policy challenges and co-create solutions with communities and local policy stakeholders that take into account the particular needs of individual places.  Researchers will be supported in developing new collaborations, deepening existing collaboration to develop research impact, and secondments and placements.

The IAA funding will be used flexibly and responsively to harness the value of our social science research to changing needs over the next five years.  It will also help to enhance the opportunities of our post graduate researchers funded through the ESRC Wales Doctoral Training Partnership, helping to create the next generation of researchers committed to translating the benefits of their research for the wider good.

 Further information about UKRI funding to maximise impact of social and economic research

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