RCUK implemented Pathways to Impact in 2009. The purpose of Pathways to Impact is to encourage applicants to explore, from the outset, who could potentially benefit from their work in the longer term and consider what could be done to increase the chances of their research reaching beneficiaries. RCUK has now reviewed this approach in consultation with representatives from the academic and user communities. As a result of comments and feedback RCUK has reaffirmed its commitment to Pathways to Impact and will require a clearly thought through and acceptable Pathways to Impact statement as a condition of funding in the future.
This harmonisation of approach across the Research Councils is important in the broad innovation landscape and RCUK will continue to engage with the other key research and innovation funders to ensure alignment of purpose and approach to deliver the best exploitation of UK research.
This change will take effect for peer review panels which take place after 1st April 2015 – please see the appropriate Research Council website for details.
RCUK have produced a summary explaining the review recommendations.