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Arts Humanities and Social Sciences Research


The AHRC Impact Acceleration Account (IAA) (previously the Arts and Humanities Impact Fund, or AHIF) aims to enhance the non-academic impact of arts and humanities research at the University of Cambridge.

It supports ‘on the ground’ impact and knowledge exchange activities, which enable researchers at all levels to engage with the public, private and third sectors, and provides a sustainable support structure within the University to promote wider and more effective engagement with external non-academic organisations.

The Fund is intended to contribute to the University’s objectives for Knowledge Exchange (KE) which enable researchers to engage proactively and effectively with external partners to drive socioeconomic impact through the exchange, translation and application of knowledge.

If you would like to discuss your project idea please approach the Impact Facilitator Dr Lucy Sheerman The AHRC subject remit is covered in the AHRC Funding Guide (section 7). Other research councils such as the ESRC and EPSRC run Impact Acceleration Accounts (IAAs) with regular internal funding calls at Cambridge. Please check if you are eligible to apply for these if your research falls within their funding remit.


Below: Abigail Brundin, Professor of Italian, shares her experience of participating in exciting collaborations with heritage organisations. For more interviews about impactful research in the Arts and Humanities, visit the Resources page.

The purpose of the IAA is to support and promote the following types of activity:

  1. Activities to broaden the experience of engagement with business, NGOs and the public and third sectors.  This can cover deepening and strengthening relationships with existing contacts as well as establishing new contacts.
  2. Collaboration with public, private and third sector organisations
  3. Developing and promoting new engagement methods to help promote best practice across arts and humanities knowledge areas.
  4. Short projects to define routes to impact, liaising with partners and finding the resources to enhance impact activities will be eligible.  This would include, but is not limited to, holding a workshop to scope interest with a suite of external organisations that would ideally lead to a further impact project.
  5. Innovative and unusual projects leading to impactful outputs and outcomes.
  6. Larger scale, cross-disciplinary opportunities for impact through strategic impact partnerships


2022-2023 AHRC Impact Acceleration Account (IAA))

Pre-announcement: University Internal Funding for Impact Projects (AHRC Impact Acceleration Account (IAA))  

Apply for funding to enhance the non-academic impact of arts and humanities research at the University of Cambridge. Applications which support placements for knowledge exchange activities in order to foster partnership working with non-HEI organisations are also welcome. 

You must:  

  • be a researcher in the arts and humanities 

  • be a senior researcher with a current contract of employment at the University 

  • Or be an early career researcher with support from a senior researcher as a Co-Investigator (*NEW*) 

  • have approval from the respective Head of Department/Faculty 

The official call will be launched in September 2022 with a provisional closing date in October 2022. 

Total fund: 

A total of £150,000 will be available in two funding calls per year with a maximum amount of £10,000 per award. 

Decisions on bids to the Impact Fund will be made within 2 months of the call closing and projects must be completed within 12 months of the award. 

Early career researchers are now eligible to apply for funding from this scheme for the first time.  

This is a pre-announcement and the information may change. More information will be available on this page when the opportunity opens in late 2022. The closing date is to be confirmed. 


Who can apply 

To apply for impact funding, you must: 

  • be a researcher in arts and humanities research that falls within the remit of the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC). 

  • hold a current contract of employment as a senior independent researcher  with the University 

  • be a non-school institutional staff member (such as from Museums or Libraries), College-based researcher, College Teaching Office or on an academic-related contract 

  • be an early career researcher, such as a postdoctoral researcher or junior research fellow with support from a senior researcher acting as a Co-Investigator  

  • have approval from the appropriate Head of Department or Faculty 

  • Please note that PhD students are not eligible to apply although they can be supported as Research Assistants on projects led by research staff. 


Purpose of the Awards 

The overall purpose of this fund is to support ‘on the ground’ impact and knowledge exchange activities.  

Awards will be made available to fund work which will significantly increase the probability of the ideas and findings generated by the research having a non-academic impact on the private, public and third sectors. Collaborative, innovative and co-funded projects are encouraged. You can find more information here about the kinds of projects we have supported in the past.  Applications will be assessed against the following criteria: 

  • Quality of underlying research: the research underpinning the impact project should be of high quality. 

  • Quality of the impact development plan: including clear objectives and milestones against which research teams can gauge medium and long-term successes 

  • Identification of the target audiences/constituencies for the project and their potential involvement in the activity to be supported, e.g., through collaboration with other organisations. 

  • Quality of management plans demonstrating that responsibilities are appropriately allocated, timeframes are feasible and resources available to meet project objectives.  

  • Added value: the application must describe how funds will be expected to develop or enhance the prospect of impact (and complement possible funding from other sources). 


Desirable but not essential criteria: 

  • Co-funding of activities to be supported by the Impact Fund is strongly encouraged, but not required.  When activities are aimed at developing impacts targeted at specific organisations, then a clear statement of any commitment in kind or in terms of co-funding by those organisations should be provided. 

  • Multi-/Inter-disciplinary approaches can be helpful in addressing challenges related to the execution of impact, and so are encouraged where appropriate. (This is the principal focus of the Cross Disciplinary Strand). 

  • Innovative and unusual projects leading to impactful outputs and outcomes. 

Previous projects have included: 

  • the development of the online version of the electronic Dictionary of Medieval Irish, including updates and corrections alongside the creation of online teaching and learning resources aimed at developing younger audiences 

  • the fostering of discussion among medical practitioners, faith leaders and community representatives, resulting in a shift in the understanding, and practice, of End of Life Care for the UK’s Muslim population 

  • a collaboration with major heritage organisations English Heritage and the National Trust, to investigate historic libraries in situ in England’s great houses and organise exhibitions, publications and collaborations that engage with these unexplored collections 

  • a collaboration with the Fitzwilliam Museum’s Learning and Exhibitions team and three local groups who regularly take part in activities at the museum to create a film that would play a significant role in a major exhibition 


How to apply 

Guidance on how to apply will be provided when the full funding opportunity is published in September. Both applications and awards for the first round are expected to take place during Michaelmas term.  

Contact details 

Ask a question or get advice about this funding opportunity 


Include ‘AHRC IAA funding for Impact Projects’ in the subject line. 

We aim to respond to queries as soon as possible. 


Additional info 

The following resources might be useful:  [The Pathways to Impact planning tool may be particularly helpful] 

Opening date: 

To be confirmed 

Closing date: 

To be confirmed 

Past AHIF Awards

2020-2021 Awards

Project Leads

Unfolding - London Design Biennale 2021 Dr Antiopi Koronaki, Dr Michael Ramage, Dr Ana Gatóo
Travelling in Ancient Sumer: Urban Studies and Sensory Archaeology to Recreate Ancient Sumer Dr Augusta McMahon, Dr Marie-Françoise Besnier
Community Engagement in the Redisplay of Egyptian Objects at the Fitzwilliam Museum Dr Helen Strudwick
Archaeological Heritage Conservation, Stakeholders Forum, and Public engagement Dr Abidemi Babalola
Developing a National Cataloguing Standard for Medieval Religious and Secular Seals Dr Philippa Hoskin
Owned by Everyone: The Cultural and Ecological Importance of Chalk Streams Dr Mark Wormald

Sonic Accompaniment to Birth in the Jewish Sahara

Dr Vanessa Paloma Elbaz, Prof. Katherine Ellis

Love Letters to a Liveable Future: In Digital Performance

Dr Zoe Svendsen

Marvelous Micromuseums

Dr Dacia Viejo Rose, Rachel Hooper, Victoria Mitchell

New Digital Framework for Hidden Histories

Dr Chris Burgess, Dr Lucy Delap, Dr Ben Griffen

2019-2020 Awards

Project Leads

Secondary Education and Social Change in the UK after 1945Secondary Education and Social Change in UK since 1945

Prof. Peter Mandler, Dr Laura Carter, Dr Chris Jeppesen

Jomon Matsuri: Changing Perceptions of the Japenese Past, Contemporary Art and Archaeological Enquiry

Dr Liliana Janik

Scripture and Violence: Resources to Help Stakeholders in Their Efforts to Change Prevalent Attitudes

Dr Daniel Weiss, Dr Julia Snyder, Dr Giles Waller

Forma: Vernacular Building for Sustainability

Dr Wesam Al Asali, Dr Michael Ramage

A Publicly Available Geographical Information System (GIS) Boundary Dataset and Gazetteer for Mapping Data in Historic English Parishes

Dr Alice Reid, Dr Leigh Shaw-Talyor

Florence 4D: Tailoring Augmented Reality Smartphone Apps for Impact

Dr Donal Cooper

Building the Indus Civilisation in Minecraft: Digital Heritage, Alternative Pasts, Coding, and Student Imagination

Dr Adam Green, Dr Cameron Petrie

Arabic Phonics: Development of a Research-led Toolkit for Teachers of Arabic

Dr Saussan Khalil

Ways of Seeing: Jacopo del Sellaio's story of Cupid and Psyche in Augmented Reality

Dr Donal Cooper, Dr Kate Noble, Dr Paola Ricciardi, Mr Dan Pett

Rosenöl und Deutscher Geist: The Fortunes of Intellectual History in Germany

Prof. Richard Bourke

Good Practice in Digital Commemorations of the Holocaust

Dr Gillian Carr

Recording Decisions and Actions connected with Claims for the Removal/Protection of Statues in UK Civic Spaces during the Summer of 2020

Prof. Marie Louise Stig Sorensen

A Good Death? Explorations of Dying Well

Dr Laura Davies

Life Under The Sun: Amarna Children's Website

Dr Kate Spence

Learning Together: Introduction to French Literature and Film in HMP Whitemoor

Dr Emma Gilby

Community Heritage and Education for Sustainable Development in Tanzania

Prof. Paul Lane

Writing in the Ancient World

Dr Philippa Steele

2018-2019 Awards

Project Leads

City Women in the Eighteenth Century

Dr Amy Erickson

Phish and ChYpPS: Using digital technologies in the heritage sector to engagepatients and participants in health and wellbeing programmes

Mr Daniel Pett

Hiraeth: An arts outreach programme for unaccompanied asylum seeking children in Cambridgeshire

Dr Brechtje Post, Prof. Ianthi Tsimpli

Timber Towers of Tomorrow: Explore the science and engineering of super talltimber from cells to skyscrapers

Dr Michael Ramage

Children of the ICTY

Dr Maja Spanu

Firing Like the Romans 2: Construction of a Roman Potter's Workshop

Dr Simon Stoddart

My Little Enlightenment Plays

Dr Sophie Seita

An Account of Italy: Audley End and the Grand Tour

Prof. Abigail Brundin

'A Good Death': Explorations of Dying Well

Dr Laura Davies, Dr Emma Salgard-Cunha

EAT FEAST FAST: Material Culture and Food Memories in Contemporary Cambridge Communities

Dr Melissa Calaresu, Dr Victoria Avery

Romeyka: Let's Speak It!

Dr Ioanna Sitaridou

Women of the Avant-Garde: The American Surrealist Dorothea Tanning (1910-2012)

Dr Alyce Mahon

Factory of the Future: Producing International Impact of Performance Research

Dr Zoe Svendsen

Ashurbanipal: the Last Great King of Assyria

Dr Selena Wisnom, Dr Martin Worthington

Learning Pontic Greek: A Pedagogical Impact Project

Dr Ioanna Sitaridou

Learning Together: Introduction to French Literature and Film in HMP Whitemoor

Dr Emma Gilby

Liszt’s Unheard Opera: Sardanapalo

Dr David Trippett

2017-2018 Awards

Project Leads

The Pop-Up Museum: Ancient Egyptian Coffins at the Fitzwilliam

Dr Julia Dawson, Dr Helen Strudwick

Kepler’s Harmonies

Dr Tim Watts

Scripture and Violence

Dr Daniel Weiss

Text and Meaning: the Electronic Dictionary of the Irish Language as Treasure-Trove

Prof. Máire Ní Mhaonaigh

Sharing the Amarna Story: Coproducing a Community Learning Resource

Dr Kate Spence

Early Modern Parisian Soundscapes

Dr Nick Hammond

Changing Public Perceptions of Ancient Mesopotamia

Dr Martin Worthington, Dr Selena Wisnom

Materialising the Digital Archive: Multi-Media Tennyson

Dr Ewan Jones

Restoring Lost Songs

Dr Sam Barrett

Narrating Climate Change in the Colombian Caribbean

Dr Rory O'Bryen

An Account of Italy: Audley End and the Grand Tour

Prof. Abigail Brundin

Electronic Shakespeare

Prof. Peter deBolla, Mr Scott Mandelbrote

New Light on Newton

Mr Huw Jones

Mind Your Language: Focus on Valencia

Prof. Dominic Keown

Scores of Scores

Dr Mark Gotham

Architecture for Resilience in China

Dr Emily So

Bruno Munari: The Lightness of Art

Dr Pierpaolo Antonello

Firing Like the Romans

Dr Simon Stoddart

Polychromy Matters

Dr Victoria Avery

Playing Medieval Lives

Prof. John Robb

Pursuing best Practice in Supporting Muslim Service Users in Community Probation Contexts

Dr Ryan Williams, Dr Paul Anderson



2022-2023 Flexi Fund *Rolling*

This fund is available to fund timely, tactical opportunities in short time scales, which require a quick turnaround for funding. This could include, but is not limited to, activities such as select committee attendance, workshop organisation, or the creation of short-term impact projects. Funding is also available for initial meetings with non-academic partners that can demonstrate a potential to lead to further impact. 

Awards will typically not exceed £2,000 and will cover 100% Directly Incurred Costs only.

Applications to this scheme are accepted on a rolling basis, through the dedicated application system.  

If you wish to apply contact Lucy or Greta at