SOAS Impact Acceleration Account


SOAS has successfully secured a 5-year, £1.25 million Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) Impact Acceleration Account (IAA) from 2023-2028, to develop impact in the areas of migration, displacement, minorities and marginalisation.

Co-managed by the SOAS Centre for Migration and Diaspora Studies and the Research and Knowledge Exchange Directorate, the IAA will contribute to raising the profile and achieving greater impact for SOAS research in these thematic areas.

SOAS IAA's key components

SOAS IAA models new approaches to impact, innovation and commercialisation by utilising a thematic research portfolio to work across disciplines and across sectors.

Key component of the SOAS IAA's activities include:

  • Global thematic roundtables that foster knowledge exchange between SOAS academics, policy makers, social activists and migration practitioners
  • Development of an Open Online Shared Learning and Collaboration space for continuous sharing of information, resources and cross-network collaboration
  • An annual mobility programme of short-term, high impact knowledge exchange fellowships
  • Rapid response and strategic grants of £2,500 to £10,000 that support co-production of knowledge and impact-oriented outputs

SOAS researchers will also be gaining expertise in knowledge exchange practices and approaches through partner-led capacity building, and will have the opportunity of showcasing their research and engage the public during the annual ESRC Festival of Social Science.

IAA impact grants

As part of the IAA initiative, SOAS IAA offers competitive strategic grants and rapid response grants for collaborative projects between SOAS researchers and non-academic partners. 

More information on the impact grants round are available in the slides covering the first round of IAA Grants Introductory Webinar presentation slides (PDF, 253KB). Key dates of the next rounds will be announced shortly. 

SOAS ESRC Festival of Social Science

SOAS held a successful ESRC Festival of Social Science, the annual celebration of social science research that looks to engage audiences through a range of public events, on 3 and 6 November 2023.

As part of this nationwide event, SOAS conducted interactive activities and workshops on two themes:

  • Migration and marginalisation, SOAS IAA’s thematic area, and
  • Lifelong wellbeing, the ESRC’s national theme for 2023

Groups of 13-to-18-year-olds learning English as an Additional Language were invited to explore engagement activities designed by SOAS academics, and participate in workshops run by our partners Springboard Youth Academy and Phosphoros Theatre.

Small group interactive activities were delivered by SOAS researchers, including:

  • From global to local: The importance of our shared humanity: Bringing to light the ways in which culture and wellbeing are two aspects of one’s life that are closely intertwined.
  • Mapping belonging: Exploring the theme of belonging and aiming to answer the questions "what does belonging mean to you", "where do you belong" and "why".
  • Objects on the move: The event is about the history of objects and exploring the context of their movement.
  • Zine making: Recipes for storytelling: Zines are self-published booklets that amplify the voices of those at the margins. This workshop explores how to tell stories through zine-making.
  • Diasporas and Data: An interactive talk exploring some key questions about migration and diasporas with participants, drawing on the SOAS research project ‘Connecting during Covid’.

The 2024 edition of the SOAS Festival of Social Science will be held in the week commencing on 4 November 2024.