A "Pathways to Impact" document (of a maximum of two pages) is required for all consolidated grant applications received through the Standard and Facility Research & Development Panel (FRDP) schemes.
The Pathways to Impact document is your opportunity to describe how the potential impacts of this research will be realised.
It should continue on from the two questions addressed within your Impact Summary i.e. a) Who will benefit from this research? b) How will they benefit from this research? (for guidance see Je-S help text, Guidance on completing a Standard Grant Proposal, Impact Summary) by addressing the following question:
- What will be done to ensure that potential beneficiaries have the opportunity to engage with this research?
The Pathways to Impact are specific to users and beneficiaries of the research who are outside of your immediate academic research community, for example the public sector, commercial private sector, third sector (voluntary and community groups, social enterprises, charities, cooperatives and mutuals) or the wider public in general. Plans for engaging with academic audiences may be included, but only where these form part of the critical pathway towards economic and societal impact. This pathway must be clearly articulated.
Such a document is intended to encourage thought on these matters and initiate the exploration of possible routes of engagement, rather than demanding firm proposals at this stage.
The plans should show clearly which activities can be considered to be `Knowledge Exchange` - activities intended to reach out to those working within other academic disciplines, the public, private, and third sectors; collaboration with whom may lead to technological, scientific or commercial developments; and those considered to be `Outreach` - activities intended to help better engage the public,schools or opinion formers with the research being undertaken.
Please detail how the proposed research project will be managed to engage users and beneficiaries and increase the likelihood of impacts. The extent of your Pathways to Impact Plan for both knowledge exchange and outreach will depend upon the nature of your research but, where possible please consider and address the following for each:
Communications and Engagement
Please identify the different beneficiaries of the Pathways to Impact activities and describe engagement with said beneficiaries, for example:
- With whom could you be effectively engaging in terms of knowledge exchange and outreach e.g. researchers from other academic disciplines and industrialists for the exchange of ideas and results; or, the public, teachers and school students for activities intended to raise awareness of, and enthusiasm about the research.
- How have beneficiaries been engaged to date, and how will they be engaged moving forward?
- How will the work build on existing or create new links?
- Outline plans to work with intermediary organisations or networks.
What activities will be undertaken to ensure good engagement and communication? For example:
- Secondments of research of user community staff;
- Events aimed at a target audience
- Workshops to provide training, information or dissemination
- Publications and publicity materials summarising main outcomes in a way that beneficiaries will be able to understand and use.
- Websites and interactive media
- Media relations
- Public affairs activities, possibly including local opinion formers e.g. MPs
- Developing resources for schools or teachers
- interaction with university technology transfer office
Explain how collaborations and partnerships within the proposed project or research will be managed, including:
- Roles and responsibilities of all parties in relation to impact;
- Nature of the relationships - e.g. established or newly formed;
- Nature, value and significance of any contributions to the proposed project; and
- Details of any formal collaboration agreements or future plans for collaboration agreements.
Exploitation and Application
Identify the mechanisms in place for potential exploitation, both commercially and non-commercially:
- Do you have any specific partnership, collaborative or exploitation agreements in place?
- How will the outputs with potential impact be identified?
- What structure and mechanisms can you put in place to exploit and protect the outputs from the research, during and at the end of the grant lifecycle?
Who is likely to be undertaking the impact activities? For example:
The PI or Co/I; PhD students and post-doctoral researchers who may be involved in activities in addition to research; specialised staff employed to undertake communication and exploitation activities; and, technical experts to write publications, web pages and user-friendly interfaces.
What previous and relevant experience do they have in achieving successful knowledge exchange and impact? How will they acquire the skills? What training courses have been considered e.g. media awareness or public communications?
Resource for the activity
If there are any resource implications as a result of implementing the knowledge exchange and/or outreach activities, please ensure these are stated in your Pathways to Impact document.
If the panel feels that your identified resource needs for the impact work are justified, you will be encouraged to submit a proposal to one of a range of schemes that provide support for those engaging in knowledge exchange or outreach activities. Many of these are for specific projects that would be undertaken in addition to the regular engagement activities that could be considered to form part of the grant e.g. attendance at Innovations Club meetings; participation in the `Researchers in Residence` schools programme; or linking in to the departments overall outreach programme. The schemes are competitively peer-reviewed and STFC cannot guarantee funding.
Where appropriate the Innovations team will maintain contact with applicants throughout the project to identify and provide information on funding schemes to develop knowledge exchange.
Applicants should request and justify the project-specific resources needed to achieve their Pathways to Impact. Applicants may request resources for public engagement work in grant applications, and should also note that grant-holders may in addition spend up to 1% of total grant value up to a maximum of £10k on public engagement if savings are subsequently found. The STFC also runs seperate funding schemes to support impact activities, including knowledge exchange and public engagement. For knowledge exchange work, applicants should apply to one of its other schemes for funding and cannot request resource in a grant application.