Funding opportunity

Funding opportunity: AHRC follow-on funding for impact and engagement

This grant supports unforeseen knowledge exchange, public engagement, active dissemination and commercialisation activities that arise during the lifespan of, or following, an AHRC-funded project. It funds innovative and creative engagement with new audiences and user communities, with significant economic, social, cultural or policy impact.

We provide grants of up to £100,000 for a maximum of one year, and smaller grants of up to £30,000 for shorter or higher-risk activities such as exploring new partnerships for knowledge exchange, testing the market or investigating a new business model.

Please note the announcement outlining changes to our responsive mode schemes. Notably the temporary closure of the scheme from 29 March 2023 and at this time the follow-on funding for impact and engagement scheme will remain unchanged.

In 2023 UK Research and Innovation will introduce a new grants system, the Funding Service, to replace the Joint Electronic Submission (Je-S) system. This will impact how you apply to responsive mode opportunities. Find out more about the transition timeline and our pathway for change.

Who can apply

The project should primarily be led by the original principal investigator of the research that the proposal builds upon.

Another member of the original research team may lead the project if the nature of the proposed activity makes it more appropriate. In such cases the original principal investigator would be expected to be named as co-investigator or at least as an advisor. This would need to be justified in the case for support.

We allow international researchers to act as co-investigators in the proposal.

There are no restrictions on how long ago the original project was funded, but if a significant amount of time has elapsed you must make the case for how the new proposal is relevant.

Proposals must:

  • be based on either previous or current research directly funded by AHRC (except research conducted under masters, doctoral or collaborative doctoral, and knowledge transfer partnerships)
  • alternatively be based on research that has been co-funded with another UKRI research council, funded entirely by another UKRI research council, or funded under UKRI-supported schemes such as the Humanities in the European Research Area joint research programme – as long as the proposal genuinely falls within AHRC’s remit. In these cases you need to provide strong justification for why you are applying for AHRC funding, together with supporting evidence and the previous proposal
  • support innovative pathways to impact opportunities that could not have been foreseen at the original proposal stage and have not already been taken account of in the original award. Proposals need to demonstrate clearly how the new pathways to impact opportunities will enhance the value and wider benefit of the original AHRC-funded research project
  • exploit creative and innovative ideas rather than repeating, continuing or extending existing activities or conducting new research
  • be focused towards non-academic audiences and relevant user communities. You should show how you engage with potential users and stakeholders throughout the project.

What we're looking for

The proposed activities should enhance the value and wider benefit of your original research project, and have a significant economic, social, cultural or policy impact.

The follow-on funding for impact and engagement aims to:

  • explore unforeseen pathways to impact either within the lifespan of an AHRC research project or resulting from a completed research project
  • enhance the value and benefits of AHRC-funded research beyond academia
  • encourage and enable a range of interactions and creative engagements between arts and humanities research and a variety of user communities – including business, third sector and heritage sector, public policy, voluntary and community groups, or the general public.

The activities supported by this grant can include:

  • activities enabling knowledge exchange, interactive public engagement or active dissemination. These activities must engage new user communities and audiences
    commercialisation or proof of concept
  • activities that build upon knowledge exchange and pathways to impact already undertaken. You must take these activities in a new direction and to new audiences
  • conferences and seminars for a policy/practice audience
  • pursuit and development of new user contacts
  • feasibility studies to test the potential application of ideas emerging from the
  • research in different business, policy or practice contexts.

The grant does not cover:

  • pathways to impact activities that have already been taken into account in the original proposal
  • grant extension, continuing similar or existing activities, or conducting further research
  • activities to develop or extend an existing resource or website
  • activities connected to research leave or primarily funding staff time
  • support for principally academic outputs (such as an academic paper, conference or a publication).

We strongly encourage you to follow the principles of The Concordat to Support the Career Development of Researchers.

How to apply

This is an open funding opportunity with no submission deadline.

You must apply using the Joint Electronic Submission system (Je-S).

We recommend you start your application early. You can save completed details in Je-S at any time and return to continue your application later.

When applying select ‘New document’ then:

  • council: Arts and Humanities Research Council
  • document type: research grants (open call)
  • call/type/mode: follow-on funding for impact and engagement.

You can find advice on completing your application in the Je-S handbook.

If you need further help, you can contact the Je-S help desk on 01793 444164 or by email

How we will assess your application

In assessing applications we will consider:

  • quality and importance
  • management of the project
  • value for money
  • output, dissemination and impact
  • principal investigator response (only for proposals over £30,000).

For more details, see the research funding guide

Proposals over £30,000 (full economic costing)

Proposals will be subject to two specialist peer reviews by members of AHRC’s peer review college, followed by a response from the principal investigator. The proposal, reviews, and the principal investigator response will be moderated by a review panel who will make funding recommendations to AHRC.

We aim to complete the assessment process within 14-16 weeks. The earliest start date for the project should be no earlier than five months and no later than nine months after submission.

Proposals under £30,000 (full economic costing)

Proposals will be reviewed directly by the panel, and the principal investigator will not be offered a response.

We aim to complete the assessment process within six weeks. The earliest start date for the project should be no earlier than three months and no later than nine months after submission.

Contact details

We work with UK Shared Business Services to deliver all of our funding activities. You should contact them if you have any queries about:

  • eligibility for funding
  • applications in progress
  • current awards.

Additional info

If you are part of a research group within a research organisation and wish to exploit a piece of research in the absence of the original principal investigator, you will need to seek their permission and where possible involve the original principal investigator in an advisory role. Your research organisation must ensure any continuity issues including intellectual property or copyright are addressed.

Supporting documents

Research funding guide

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