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Information for principal investigators (inc. fellows)

Principal investigators (PIs) and fellows are given the opportunity to provide UKRI with information about the outcomes, outputs and impacts of their research soon after funding begins. PIs are required to make outcomes submissions to UKRI councils on an annual basis throughout the life of their project, and as a general principle for at least five years after an awards funding has ended. UKRI Councils may choose to shorten or lengthen that period for their funded awards.

While outcomes can be attributed to awards at any point during the year, UKRI councils will ask for submissions of those outcomes to be made at a specific point in each year. The submissions process is separate from the outcomes attribution process and can only take place during the annual Submission Period.

The next UKRI submission period date can be found on the UKRI Research Outcomes webpage.

Failure to make submissions may lead to sanctions being imposed by UKRI. Depending on the circumstances this could lead to the suspension of funding for active UKRI Councils funded projects, and/or make PIs ineligible for future funding until required submissions have been made against all UKRI councils awards.

The 6 Stages of Researchfish

Below you will find guidance covering the 6 Stages of Researchfish:

The Purpose

Researchfish® is the online data repository system that all 7 Research Councils (now UKRI) have chosen to use to collect all research outcomes. UKRI has now moved away from a final report based collection method in favour of collecting the outcomes of research as they are realised.

This has been done to better track the progress, productivity and quality of the research UKRI supports throughout the lifetime of an award’s funding and beyond. It provides the necessary evidence to the government to justify the spending of public money, but also is very helpful to the Councils in strategy development and in justifying requests for additional funding for science.


  • UKRI funded awards are usually uploaded to researchfish(R) by each Funder (the relevant Council) soon after their funding begins.
  • Award holders will then receive an invite from researchfish(R) to create an online account (unless they already have one) .
  • Once an account is created an award holder can then start to add research outcomes to the system and attribute them to awards as and when they occur.
  • Award holders are asked to submit outcomes to their Funder during a Submission Period. It is important to note that simply adding outcomes against an award does not submit them to the Funder.
  • A Submission Period is designed to allow Funders to take a snap shot of those outcomes at that point in time. Award holders are asked to verify that all information is up to date against their awards.
  • Before a submission can be completed, award holders will be asked to complete a series of Mandatory Additional Questions for each award.
  • Award Holders will be asked to submit outcomes during the lifetime of the funding of an award, and for a period after that funding has finished.
  • The length of time a Funder will ask for the submission of outcomes against an award varies, but it is usually expected that for Grants and Fellowships this would be at least 5 years after funding has finished.

The basic guidance that follows has been designed to help you understand and complete your researchfish(R) outcomes entries throughout the year and during Submission Periods.  Researchfish(R) have a user guide microsite at https://userguide.researchfish.com which will give you more detailed instructions.

The only way to obtain a researchfish(R) account is to be invited.

  • You will receive an invite for every FUNDER that you have an award with.
  • You will receive an invite if you are a PI who has received funding.
  • The invite will go to the email registered in your Je-S account.
  • If you have not received an invite please check your junk folder.
  • Contact researchoutcomes@funding.ukri.org for the invite to be resent

You can add a team member to assist with the addition of Outcomes.

Team members can be added via the ’Personal Portfolio’ or directly from within an award. You can remove Team Members using the ‘Manage Delegates’ function.

A video showing this process is available.

The Outcomes on Researchfish our divided into two sections.  These are classified as ‘Common Outcomes’  and ‘Additional Outcomes’.

These can be found in both the ‘My Awards’  section and the ‘Personal Portfolio’ section of your Researchfish account. 

To enter your common Outcomes either go to the ‘Personal Portfolio’ tab or select the award you would like to add outcomes to from ‘My Awards’.

Please take time to look through the Outcome types and fill in any that are relevant to your award.

Once the outcome type has been selected, you will then be able to add a new common outcome.

There is further, more detailed guidance on how to add outcomes at https://userguide.researchfish.com/add-outcomes.html

The researchfish(R) interface utilises a toggle system. All outcomes will be toggled to the award you have added them to and to your personal portfolio.

Any outcomes which fall outside of your award life span can be added to the ‘Personal Portfolio’ but you will be unable to add these to an award.

For more detailed instructions on how to attribute Outcomes please go to https://userguide.researchfish.com/add-outcomes.html

A video showing this process is available: Researchfish: Creating and Attributing Outcomes

Mandatory Outcomes

Your research Council has specific mandatory Outcomes that it wishes to gather information on. In researchfish(R) these are called ‘Mandatory Additional Questions’. These questions may be different for each award and each funder.

Additional Questions must be filled in order to submit.

The next submission period for the Research Councils is from 4 February and 14 March 2019. You may add and attribute Outcomes before this date but you will not be able to submit your outcomes outside of this period.

During the submission period the submission bar will appear above your award and will be red in colour. 

The submission button will only be available during the submission period. 

The following page will appear. This needs to be completed or your award has NOT been submitted.

A video showing this process is available.

Note: not submitting an award could lead to sanctions on current or future awards.

Further information about the outcomes collection processes can be found in these PI FAQs (PDF, 189KB).

UKRI operate a harmonised sanctions policy applicable to all UKRI Councils funded award and award holders available here (PDF, 55KB).

Further help and guidance about the outcomes collection process can be found here.

UKRI communicate throughout the year with its funded PIs and all of this correspondence can be found here.

UKRI has identified a number of points of contacts at research organisations who help to facilitate the outcomes collection process for their funded awards. A list of these is available to view here.

Information for students