Prestigious Impact Accelerator Account to benefit economic and social research exchange

A major award to Bangor University is set to increase the way in which the University shares economic and social sciences research for the benefit of society as a whole.

Bangor University has been awarded over £670,000 by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) one of the major research awarding bodies in the UK.

The University is among 24 top research organisations to be awarded the ESRC Impact Acceleration Account (IAA), which runs until 2018.

The IAA will support activities which promote and assist the sharing of knowledge between the University and other groups, bodies or individuals. The intention is to accelerate the impact of social sciences research from across the University. In practice, this means that more groups, communities, organisations, policy-makers and others will benefit from University research through research-based policy- and decision-making, or will be enabled to change or adapt the way they work based on research within their practice. This will mean that useful research has more direct influence on society.

Bangor University Deputy Vice Chancellor David Shepherd welcomed the award saying:

“This new funding will enable us ensure that our research has greater economic and societal impact through engaging and working with external organisations. It will bring greater impetus to our work in knowledge transfer through greater and improved engagement with others, so that our research findings have maximum impact and benefit.”  

For example, Professor Dyfrig Hughes from the University’s College of Health and Behavioural Sciences recently completed a research project: Evidence-based policies for new medicines. Professor Hughes’ research, in partnership with All Wales Therapeutics and Toxicology Centre (AWTTC) informed the parameters by which the Welsh and Scottish Governments evaluate drug funding. This led to annual savings of £32 million to the NHS budget.

Professor Lew Hardy’s research at the College of Health and Behavioural Sciences, led to changes in the delivery of training across the three Armed Services, the formation of a new training establishment, the formation of a new tri-service monitoring and training body, better mental health in military recruits, and significant reductions in wastage (attrition) rates (up to 15%). The research project, entitled, ‘Train in, not select out’: Bangor leadership training model decreased wastage rates in British army recruits and enhanced training practices, was in partnership with the Army Recruitment and Training Division (ARTD), British Army.

The Bangor model developed by this research has also been utilised by the Canadian and US armed services.

The IAA will also enable the University improve understanding of knowledge exchange, enabling the University to improve on the impact of projects and programmes of research funded by the ESRC. The University will also be providing a programme of events aimed at showcasing and co-creating ideas and research and in engaging with different stakeholders.

Professors Hughes and Hardy will be among those speaking at a Launch event at Bangor University on 16 March.

Publication date: 16 March 2015