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Rapid Response

Rapid Response

Awards of up to £5,000 are available to enable Social Scientists to respond quickly to emerging opportunities to act on the impact potential of their research or to undertake smaller-scale, short-term activities.

This could include:

  • Travel for events
  • Short-term project support
  • Opportunities to network with collaborators or research users

Applicants are encouraged to consider how the funding will enable them to use their research to respond to the clearly identified needs of non-academic stakeholders.

Non-academic partners or stakeholders might include, but are not limited to: policymakers; businesses and social enterprises; third sector organisations; schools, teachers, their students and communities; service providers and practitioners; community groups; creative practitioners; and advocacy groups.

Applications can be made at any time and must be submitted to, indicating in the subject line that the application is for the Rapid Response pathway. Applications will be assessed by Chair's Action, and a response provided to the applicant(s) within ten working days of receipt of the application.

Page Contents:

Application Process and Eligibility Information:

Application form and application process 

When and how to apply:

Applications can be made at any time and must be submitted to, indicating in the subject line that the application is for the Rapid Response pathway.

Applications will be assessed by Chair's Action, and a response provided to the applicant(s) within ten working days of receipt of the application.

The scheme will be closed to further applications once the available budget has been allocated.

    Please take note of the wordcount limits stated on each section of the application form. Bids which exceed the wordcount limits will be returned to applicants for editing before they can proceed through the review process.

    Applicant Eligibility

    Lead applicants should be a University of Warwick employee with an employment contract which lasts the duration of the project for which IAA funding is being applied. The ESRC IAA is open to the Social Sciences community across the University. This includes the Faculty of Social Sciences, as well as Social Scientists based in other faculties who would normally be eligible to apply for research funding from the ESRC.

    Early career researchers who have an employment contract as described above (including those, for example, in receipt of a postdoctoral fellowship), are eligible and indeed encouraged to apply for funding from the IAA.

    PhD students are not eligible to apply for Responsive Mode funding, but will be able to access some of the training and development opportunities which are offered as part of the wider IAA programme.

      Eligible Costs

      Directly incurred project costs, including travel and subsistence, may be claimed at 100%. Application budgets should be fully costed, including staff time. Investigator and staff time can be charged to individual projects as required but should not normally exceed 10%, and all such claims must be accompanied by written approval from the Head of Department at application stage. Project/research assistance can be budgeted at 100%. For projects funding researcher time for more than 12 months, please contact Research Ops for a costing.

      Funding cannot be used to support:

      • New research
      • Patent filing or similar costs associated directly to registering intellectual property rights
      • Non-specific public engagement and communication/press activities; however, projects where public engagement is a critical pathway to achieving societal and/or economic impact will be considered. For public engagement activities that do not meet this definition, please see the Warwick Institute of Engagement webpages.
      • Infrastructure and capital expenditure; no equipment over £10,000 is permitted
      • Indirect or estate costs at the research organisation
      • Undergraduate activities, core PhD training and research, masters degrees
      • Other costs not allowed in the ESRC/UKRI Standard Research Grant Terms and Conditions

      If a Green Levy is incurred due to the use of air travel, this should be covered by the applicant’s department.

      We welcome contributions towards project costs from impact partners and other university sources.


      Project finances will be monitored quarterly, and award holders may be required to give updates on projected spend.

      On completion of the project, recipients of ESRC IAA funding are required to complete an End of Project (EoP) Report, providing accountability for the funds spent on the activity and reflecting on the non-academic impact achieved; and then again 12 months later. Projects spanning multiple years will be expected to report on milestones at the end of each year of the project to feed into ESRC annual reporting; unsatisfactory progress may mean subsequent years of the project are not funded.

      The reporting requirements of the ESRC IAA are designed to be constructive and collegial, enabling feedback, peer support, the identification of common challenges, and an agile response to emerging project needs, as well as to support the wider impact ecology of the faculty. With recipients’ permission, we will also draw upon EoP reporting to provide ‘showcasing’ material to raise the visibility of individual projects as well as of social science impact at large. Recipients of ESRC IAA funding are expected to engage fully with the reporting requirements of their award and to be reflective and detailed in their EoP reports. EoP reports that are not completed to a satisfactory level will be returned to awardees with a request for further information. The IAA Management Committee reserves the right to deny the recipient access to further ESRC IAA funding until a satisfactory EoP report is received.

      The IAA Management Committee reserves the right to impose additional reporting requirements or withdraw funds if they are unsatisfied with the progress of the project.

      In addition to the written EoP report, the ESRC IAA team plan to host a yearly showcasing event to celebrate impact work supported by the IAA and to provide a forum for peer support and collaboration. Award holders may be asked to give a short presentation on their project as part of this event.

      Terms and Conditions

      Awards under the scheme will be made on the basis that:

      • Applicants should normally be a University academic employee, or be the holder of a personal research fellowship awarded competitively, with a contract lasting the duration of the project.
      • Funds must be defrayed by the date(s) stated in the award letter.
      • They are non-repayable grants (except in the case of conferences or other events which make a profit).
      • Individuals and departments can demonstrate that they cannot support the project or activity from existing individual or departmental discretionary funds.
      • Funds will be spent according to an agreed profile; failure to spend will result in a claw-back event. Requests to reallocate funds or/and extend projects must be made to
      • Appropriate ethical approval has been sought and granted where necessary.
      • There are no significant additional space implications that cannot be accommodated within the department(s) involved.
      • Any overspends exceeding £20 become the responsibility of the host department(s).
      • All expenditure will be complete on or by the end of the project date.
      • Project reports are submitted as required by the funding stream. End of project reports should be submitted within one month of the project end date.

      Collaboration Agreements - General Guidance

      Collaboration Agreements are normally required where you will be working with an external partner who will have significant input into or ownership of the outcomes of the project. These agreements cover items such as: agreeing the responsibilities of all partners; ownership and use of outputs and intellectual property; transfer of funds; data sharing; and liabilities. Where a project involves the collection and sharing of data between project partners, a Data Sharing Agreement will be embedded within the Collaboration Agreement.

      A template Collaboration Agreement is available to view here. You can share this with external partners at application stage to ensure that they are aware of what they will be asked to sign should the application be successful; however, this agreement should not be signed at application stage. If your application is successful, RIS will manage the process of drawing up and signing any Collaboration Agreements required for your project. There may be variations to this template in the final agreement.

      Someone who will be paid to provide a service only and will not have any ownership of the final outputs would not normally be considered a collaborator, and therefore would not normally require a Collaboration Agreement. For example, this could include: event venues; agencies and designers; or speakers at an event; where these organisations or individuals have no further contribution to the project.

      The RIS team will advise on whether a Collaboration Agreement is needed after awards have been made; however, if you would like to discuss this before you apply, please do get in touch on

      Guidance Notes, Assessment Criteria, and the Post-Award Process

      Prospective applicants should read the Guidance Webpage to find further information on the application evaluation criteria used by the panel as well as on the post-award process, and to access the Guidance Notes for use when applying.