Additional guidance and best practice rules

This page contains simple best practice rules and guidance for PIs using researchfish® to report the outcomes of EPSRC grants which

  • are part of a multi-grant projects, and/or
  • have been transferred between organisations, and/or
  • have led to purely academic impacts
  • have not been running long enough to have anything significant to report

Please select from the statements below as appropriate.

(Please remember: the outcomes you record in researchfish® and submit to EPSRC are normally published on the RCUK Gateway to Research. You should, therefore, not include sensitive personal information about any other individual in any response you submit to EPSRC.)

Please liaise with the PI(s) of the other grant(s) in the project to ensure that the outcomes you submit, and in particular your responses to the Key Findings and Narrative Impact sections, are representative of the project as a whole.

To reduce the overall data entry burden and also the creation of duplicate records we recommend use of the 'research team' functionality. You will need to invite the PI(s) of the other grant(s) to join your 'research team' and give them permission to add outcomes to your grant. (You may also wish to share with them any outcomes you have already attributed to your grant.)

Inviting someone to your 'research team' is simple - you need only provide the name and email address of the person you're inviting, and select the grant(s) you're permitting them to add outcomes to.

More detailed guidance on how to do this is available in the researchfish® user guide

Outcomes which you particularly identify with your contribution to the project should be attributed to your grant, but may also be shared with the PI of the lead grant and attributed to that grant too (it doesn't matter if a single outcome is attributed to more than one grant) - guidance on how to use the 'research team' functionality to share outcomes is available in the researchfish® user guide.

For the Key Findings and Narrative Impact sections, you may:

  • either submit responses which are specific to your own grant;
  • or liaise with the lead grant PI to ensure that the responses submitted for the lead grant incorporate your own contributions to the project as a whole.

If you choose the second option please complete the sections as follows to ensure users of the RCUK Gateway to Research are directed to the published summaries.

Key Findings:

  • If it is presented, select 'Yes' to the question 'Has your data changed since your last submission?',
  • Select 'Yes' to the question 'Are there any Key Findings associated with this award?'
  • Where you are asked 'What have you discovered or developed through the research funded on this grant?' and 'In what ways might your findings be taken forward or put to use by others?' enter 'Please see the Key Findings of EPSRC Grant: ' and then give reference of the lead grant for your project.
  • Select appropriate responses to the other question in this section

Narrative Impact:

  • If it is presented, select 'Yes' to the question 'Has your data changed since your last submission?'
  • Select 'Yes' to the question 'Have the findings from this award contributed to any non-academic impacts?'
  • Where you are asked 'How have your findings been used? Please provide a brief summary' enter 'Please see the Impact Summary of EPSRC Grant:' and then give reference of the lead grant for your project.

If your research project has been transferred between research organisations EPSRC will normally have closed the grant made to the original organisation and announced a new one (for the remaining balance of the original grant duration and value) to your new employer.

As a result you may see two versions of the grant in researchfish® for your project - they will have almost the same reference numbers, the original one will end '/1' and the subsequent one will end '/2'.

If possible, please attribute specific outcomes to the funding that was current at the time they arose. If such distinction is not possible please attribute the outcomes to the grant with the longer duration.

You will normally* be required to respond to the 'additional question' sections ('Key Findings', 'Narrative Impact' and 'Secondments/Placements') for each version of the grant.

When doing so, to avoid duplication of effort,

  • for the version of the grant where most of the project took place please respond to all the additional questions as if for the project as a whole.
  • for other version(s) of the grant, please complete the sections as follows to ensure users of the RCUK Gateway to Research are directed to the published summaries.

Key Findings:

  • If it is presented, select 'Yes' to the question 'Has your data changed since your last submission?',
  • Select 'Yes' to the question 'Are there any Key Findings associated with this award?'
  • Where you are asked 'What have you discovered or developed through the research funded on this grant?' and 'In what ways might your findings be taken forward or put to use by others?' enter 'Please see the Key Findings of EPSRC Grant:' and then give reference of the lead grant for your project.
  • Select appropriate responses to the other question in this section

Narrative Impact:

  • If it is presented, select 'Yes' to the question 'Has your data changed since your last submission?'
  • Select 'Yes' to the question 'Have the findings from this award contributed to any non-academic impacts?'
  • Where you are asked 'How have your findings been used? Please provide a brief summary' enter 'Please see the Impact Summary of EPSRC Grant: ' and then give reference of the lead grant for your project.

Secondments/placements:

  • select 'No' to the question 'Has your team or members of your team been involved in any secondments… … for a period of time?'

Animal Use (if this section is presented**):

  • If it is presented, respond as appropriate to the question 'Has your data changed since your last submission?'
  • If they are then presented, respond 'No' to the questions about whether your research
    • has involved use of vertebrate animals or cephalopods
    • may lead to new or refined methods with the potential to contribute to (a reduction in) the use of animals in research.

* EPSRC waives the requirement to respond to the 'additional question' sections on the first grants for a project if less than 20% of the original project budget was reported as spent by the original grant holding organisation.

** The animal use question is not presented for the great majority of EPSRC-funded research projects; it is used only when there is sufficient information in the original grant application to indicate that it may be relevant.

Please record this in your responses to the Key Findings section, and describe the demonstrable contribution your research has made or is making to advances across and within disciplines, including significant advances in understanding, methods, theory and application.

If your project started only recently and you've no outcomes to report simply choose 'No' as your response to the first question in each of the 'additional question' sections.

However, please note:

  • If this is the first submission period since your project ended you should respond 'Yes' to the first question in the Key Findings section and then complete the remainder of that section as appropriate.
  • If this is the second submission period since your project ended and you have not yet provided a summary of impact to date in the narrative impact section we would expect you to do so now. If it isn't yet possible to identify specific impacts you should refer to the 'pathways to impact' statement in your original grant application and say what steps have been taken to generate impact (remember: you may also summarise purely academic impacts in the Key Findings section).

Do

  • Remember, researchfish® is not a repository for your outcomes, but a place to create metadata records about them. 'Less is (usually) more' - we are not looking for novellas, 400 words in any single entry should be enough! The best records are like signposts which whet the appetite of readers to follow up and find out more. Make use of the URL fields to direct others to additional relevant information
  • Remember that the Key Findings and Narrative Impact sections are the best place to draw attention to the overall value of specific research projects.
  • When describing 'impact' try to answer the 'so what?' question - how has the outcome you're telling us about, or your project as a whole, actually made a difference and to whom?
  • Remember - researchfish® is not a sophisticated text-editor, so it will usually be easier to prepare significant free text entries using other software - but keep to simple formats (paragraphs, bullets, upper and lower case) and don't use underline, italic or bold formatting or tables, they'll be lost when you copy and paste into researchfish®.

Don't

  • Create outcome records in every section just because the sections are there - there is no 'right' number of outcomes of any particular type. We understand that research is unpredictable and that results can take considerable time to emerge, so it's OK to have no specific outcomes to submit, especially early in a project.
  • Use of 'Copy and Paste' to add lists publications to your Key Findings or Narrative Impact summaries (publications should be recorded in the 'Publications' section!).
  • Copy and paste in very large volumes of text from elsewhere - short, succinct summaries you may already have prepared are OK, but inserting the content of a whole report is almost always unhelpful, clogs the system, and makes it difficult to extract other more valuable information.
  • Use double quote marks in any text - they are a very frequent source of problems in subsequent data operations.

Most of the Common Outcomes in researchfish® require you to select a sub-category when you create a new record, and it may help to scan the available sub-categories before deciding which section is the best fit for the outcome you want to tell us about.

A one-page PDF document is now available from researchfish® which clearly sets out all the available sub-categories. Follow the link "Unsure what common outcomes to use?", displayed on the screen from which you would start to record any new outcome.

Screenshot of researchfish 'Unsure what common outcomes to use?' page