Royal Central School of Speech and Drama, Impact Acceleration Account, 2022-25

Lead Research Organisation: Royal Central Sch of Speech and Drama
Department Name: Faculty


Central's AHRC Impact Acceleration Account (IAA) creates the Centre for Research Impact in the Performing Arts as a tangible mechanism to co-ordinate, expand, and promote our impact and Knowledge Exchange (KE) activities, and deliver our strategic aim for the IAA: to unlock our capacity to accelerate impact from our research in the field of the performing arts. Building on our existing networks and extensive industry connections, the IAA specifically aims to strengthen collaborations with strategic partners, engage new stakeholders, enhance links with other subject disciplines in areas such as social sciences and health, and drive continuous improvement in impact and KE by supporting innovative approaches. The IAA complements our existing impact and KE investments to further develop a translational research culture in three ways. First, it supports the development of our impact capability by expanding training and mentoring for our researchers in user and partner engagement. Secondly, it maximises our capacity for impact at all stages of the research process through flexible support mechanisms that are tailored to different stages of the process of impact generation and are responsive to the needs of our partners. Thirdly, it enhances the impact of our research by facilitating the development of stronger relationships with key stakeholders in our research. This enables our research to respond pro-actively to new opportunities and emerging challenges outside the HE sector. The IAA will thus develop a more integrated environment for research impact, expand our existing culture of research that responds to the specific challenges faced by our partners and provide the necessary support to researchers to maximise any currently untapped potential of their work to generate impact and KE. The IAA complements other investments that we continue to make in impact and KE, through other research funds, external fellowships and awards, and our recent award of a Special Priorities Fund (SPF) from Research England, which we are using to engage extensive agenda-setting consultations into arts inclusion policy with stakeholders such Arts Council England, and civil and industry bodies. The IAA extends our ability to work with our partners in this way, engaging them earlier in research design, with funding opportunities that allow for co-designed new initiatives and the co-production of fully supported impact-based projects. As one partner made clear "Collaboration start-up funding would have helped us to do more from the start and allow us to develop our partnership with time to work out what we needed from one another": this is the fundamental value the IAA adds to both our researchers and an expanded community of users and stakeholders.


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