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ESRC Impact Acceleration Account

ESRC IAA Capacity Building Programme


A key feature of the ESRC key performance indicators for Impact Acceleration Accounts is that of driving cultural change amongst the academic community. Capacity building around impact is, therefore, a key aspect of the Durham IAA plans.


As part of its 2015-16 Capacity Building Programme, the ESRC IAA is launching a pilot IMPACT MENTORING SCHEME, designed to support Durham researchers in the social sciences to maximise the impact and influence of their research on non-academic beneficiaries. The scheme is open to researchers at all career stages who wish to develop their impact and engagement work.

The ESRC IAA Capacity Building Programme is currently running and between January and June 2016, we will be hosting a series of events and workshops including:

ESRC IAA Impact Mentoring Scheme Pilot

The 2015-16 first call for applications to take part in a pilot ESRC IAA Impact Mentoring Scheme closed in November 2015, with eight researchers being selected to participate and work with five academic mentors. Applicants submitted an application letter and an impact engagement proposal which, if successful, would give them the opportunity to develop their external engagement and influencing skills through regular dialogue with an experienced academic mentor, together with an award of up to £750 to support their engagement project, guided by their mentor. The scheme will run from January until July 2016, and it is hoped to run a similar scheme for 2016-17. This will be decided as soon as the pilot scheme evaluations are concluded in the Autumn - watch this space.

Themed 'Engaging With ......' workshops:

1. '...... The Private Sector' (Newcastle) and 2. '...... Local Government' (Durham)

Last year, two very successful ESRC IAA themed workshops were hosted by both Durham and Newcastle Universities as part of the ESRC IAA Capacity Building Programme. The first, on 'Building Genuine Partnerships between Universities and the Third Sector' on 5th May 2015, was led by our IAA colleagues at Newcastle, with the second on 'Influencing Policy – From the Local to the International' on 30th June 2015, led by the IAA Team here in Durham. For further information and shared resources from last year's events, go to: https://www.dur.ac.uk/esrciaa/events/example/ ). This year, the Durham and Newcastle collaboration will host a further two themed spring workshops, with the first covering 'How to Engage with the Private Sector' hosted by Newcastle in April, and the second to follow in May with Durham hosting a session on 'How to Work with Local Government' - full details to follow very soon.

Short 'Bite-size' Skills Development Workshops (with lunch included)

Durham and Newcastle IAA teams have prepared a series of six free short lunchtime 'Bite-size Skills Development Workshops', with academics sharing their impact experience with colleagues on topics such as engaging with journalists and the media, writing for policymakers and raising your on-line research profile. The workshops are open to colleagues from Durham and Newcastle, and will run between January and June 2016. For further details about the workshops and how to book, go to: https://www.dur.ac.uk/esrciaa/events/upcoming/