Knowledge exchange and collaboration
Knowledge exchange is a two-way process where social scientists and individuals or organisations share learning, ideas and experiences. The ESRC is committed to knowledge exchange and encouraging collaboration between researchers and the private, public and civil society sectors. By creating a dialogue between these communities, knowledge exchange helps research to influence policy and practice.
The ESRC builds partnerships and works collaboratively in a range of diverse ways. Examples of our collaborative activity include:
- developing strategic partnerships with organisations to ensure we maximise the impact of our activities
- working with partner organisations to develop and fund major research and capacity building initiatives
- supporting initiatives to foster direct collaboration between social scientists and other individuals and organisations.
The importance of knowledge exchange and collaborative working
Collaborative working benefits both the researchers and the individuals/organisations involved. Through collaboration, partners learn about each other's expertise, share knowledge and gain an appreciation of different professional cultures. Collaborative activity can therefore lead to a better understanding of the ways in which academic research can add value and offer insights to key issues of concern for policy and practice. To be most effective, knowledge exchange should not be treated as an 'add-on' at the end of a research project, but works best when it is considered before the start and built into a project.
For researchers, the benefits of knowledge exchange and working collaboratively can include:
- informing and improving the quality of your research
- enhancing your understanding of research users and their needs
- applying evidence based knowledge to important business or policy issues
For those using research, the benefits can include:
- accessing experts and cutting edge research
- accessing innovative ideas that could improve policy or practice
- enhancing organisational creativity, performance and productivity
Funding opportunities for knowledge exchange and collaboration
The ESRC's Knowledge Exchange team provides a range of funding opportunities and activities to support collaborative working and knowledge exchange activity.
If you wish to apply for this scheme and are not based at a UK university you will need to do so alongside an academic partner. Our extensive and easily searchable research catalogue can be filtered by topic area to find academics who may have similar interests to you. Alternatively the knowledge exchange team (email@example.com) can provide suggestions of academics you may wish to contact.
- Partnering with business: How business-academic collaboration can drive innovation and growth (PDF, 923Kb)
- RCUK Knowledge Transfer Portal (external site)
You can also email our Knowledge Exchange team: firstname.lastname@example.org