British grant applicants will have to demonstrate the economic or social impact of their research, according to new funding rules rolled out by linkurl:Research Councils UK; (RCUK), the umbrella body for all of Britain's seven research councils. The "impact summary," which requires grant seekers to answer questions about the wider benefits of their research, was implemented today (Jan. 15) by the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC). Other funding bodies, including the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC), will follow suit in the coming months. The Medical Research Council (MRC), which operates under a different system, was unaffected by the decision.
"The change is to underline our 'excellence with impact' agenda," Chloë Somers, a media spokesperson with RCUK, told __The Scientist__. "We recognize the fact that researchers are already doing this but we want to make it easier for them." Critics, however, argue that the initiative pushes academic research closer...

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