Coventry University wins £1.25m of ESRC funding to maximise impacts of economic and social sciences research

Thursday 09 March 2023

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The Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) has awarded Coventry University a £1.25 million Impact Acceleration Account (IAA) to deliver a five-year programme of impact activity.

IAAs support critical early-stage translation of university research into real impacts, which helps transform public services, create new jobs, attract private investment and forge new partnerships with business and charities.

This year, 32 research organisations across the UK have benefitted from this £40 million pound investment from the ESRC.

This is the first IAA that Coventry University has received, reflecting the successes already delivered by its researchers. The achievement builds on the ambitions as set out in the 2030 Research Strategy, and is demonstrated by the new substantive research grants being won following a successful REF2021 outcome.

Professor David McIlhatton, Institute Director and University Impact Lead, said:

We are delighted that our strategic commitment to research impact has been recognised by the ESRC. The IAA funds will enable us to co-create research more effectively with policy and practice communities.

This accolade is a key milestone in helping us deliver on our institutional mission of Creating Better Futures by enabling us to tackle some of the significant challenges facing society locally, nationally and internationally.

Professor David McIlhatton, Institute Director and University Impact Lead

Coventry University has 16 research centres with many researchers who are delivering local, national and international impact-focused work.

This is demonstrated by our research into national security, a key focus for our peace and security researchers, where their work engages with businesses, government (local, national, emergency services) and society to help shape policy and practice that helps minimise security threats.

Our peace and security researchers also work closely with many UK communities affected by Sexual and Gender Based Violence (SGBV) and organisations that support victims in this area. They engage with key stakeholders to undertake research and deliver insights that help mitigate the societal impacts of SGBV by influencing and changing practice and policy in the UK and internationally.

The Centre for Business in Society delivers research to support the most vulnerable groups in our society. The team engage with individuals, communities, and charities to understand more about current financial and digital challenges and impacts issues such as unemployment, low income and social isolation. Their aim is to reduce the negative effects of these social situations by co-creating their research with service providers, policymakers, and government agencies.

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.

The IAA funding will help to generate greater benefits from the university’s research, helping to create a more prosperous, inclusive, healthy and secure society.

Find out more about Coventry University Research

Discover more about Coventry University Research and our 16 challenge-led research centres.