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The University of Southampton

Using Researchfish to record research impact

Find out about Researchfish and how we use it to track and record the outcomes and impact of our world-leading research.

What is Researchfish? 

Researchfish is an online survey that collects research outcomes for funders to help them track the impacts of their investments. You can see the full list of public and charitable funders here.

Frequently asked Researchfish questions

What's new in Researchfish?

If you have used Researchfish before you will notice a new user interface and layout. Please take a few moments to review the Help and Support section.

I’m a Principal Investigator - what do I need to do?

As a Principal Investigator (PI) you are required to provide research outcomes information for each grant you hold. Your funder will contact you ahead of the submission period using the email address you have provided; for UKRI awards, this is the address that is listed in Je-S.

If you have not used Researchfish before, you will need to register – details are available in the personalised email you will receive. A response is expected for all current grants and those which have ended in the past five years. See the FAQ 'What are Response Codes?' below for details about exemptions.

What is a submission period?

Research outcomes information for each award can be provided at any time and some PIs choose to update their grants regularly during the year. A submission period is the window in which PIs need to complete the outcomes information and press the SUBMIT button (which is only visible during this period). Failure to do so could result in sanctions.

If you have to submit multiple awards to a single funder, all awards are submitted at once and you will receive a confirmation email. If you do not receive this email please check your submission or contact the funder. If you also have awards from a different funder, you will receive a separate confirmation email once your submission is complete.

For UKRI, the next submission period runs from 7 February 2022 to 16:00 on 17 March 2022. Submission periods for other funders may differ.

Is it mandatory that I submit outcomes for my grant and do sanctions apply?

Yes. It is a now a condition of receiving funding from UK Research and Innovation and some other funders that the Principal Investigator (PI) completes Researchfish with an annual update of information relating to research outcomes.

If the required annual update for an award is not submitted on time, the funder may apply sanctions such as withholding payments for current awards or preventing researchers from applying (either as a Principal Investigator or as a Co-Investigator) for further awards from any Research Council. Since 2014, a harmonised cross-Council Sanctions Policy has applied to all UKRI-funded award holders. Some funders have sanctions which apply at the institutional level (e.g. grant payments are withheld).

What should I do if I don’t have any outcomes to report?

Where there are no new outcomes to report, you can indicate this by adding “not applicable this year” as an answer to the mandatory questions. In such cases you must still click the SUBMIT button within the submission period to comply with funder requirements. Researchers also have the opportunity to discuss with UKRI when they feel that no further outcomes will arise from an award and request that the award is ‘closed’ in Researchfish. If you think this is the case, you should contact

Do I need to submit outcomes for a grant that ended several years ago?

For UKRI, Students and Principal Investigators are asked to provide updates annually during the period of the awards and usually for five years after their awards have finished. Other funders may have different policies.

Where there are no new outcomes to submit, you can indicate this by adding “not applicable this year” as an answer to the mandatory questions, and clicking the SUBMIT button in the usual manner.

Researchers also have the opportunity to discuss with UKRI when they feel that no further outcomes will arise from an award and request that the award is ‘closed’ in Researchfish. If you think this is the case, you can contact

How do I make my submission?

When you login to Researchfish®, you will be taken to the ‘My Awards’ page which lists the awards you need to submit. Click on the “Help using this page” box in the top-right of the screen for guidance. When you have completed your submission you will receive an automated email from Researchfish to confirm that the submission was successful. If you have not received this email, please check your junk folder and then contact

What are Response Codes?

Response codes are used by UKRI and other funders to inform research organisations which of their awards are required to submit outcomes. The UKRI definitions are shown below for Principal Investigators (PI) and Students.

Principal Investigators (PI)
[1] A submission is expected as the award holder is employed by the funded organisation. Non-submission will trigger the Sanctions Policy.

[2] A submission is not expected this year. The Principal Investigator has been granted a one year exemption, usually because of long term sickness or parental leave.

[3] Award withdrawn from the reporting cycle. This response code is normally used when the award holder is known to be no longer active in research or where further outcomes are no longer expected against this award.

[4] The award holder is required to make a submission but is no longer employed by the University. The award will not contribute to the University’s compliance statistics but non-submission will trigger the Sanctions Policy for the individual.

[5] The obligation to report has ceased. A submission may be made but is not expected, .

Awards to principal investigators, including fellows, are assigned response code 1 (or 4 if appropriate) until at least five years after the funding period ends. However, this can vary depending on the research council and funding scheme.

[1] A submission is required by the end of the Submission Period#.

[2] No submission will be requested this year as the Student has been granted a one-year exemption.

[3] Award withdrawn from the reporting cycle; further outcomes are no longer expected.

[4] A submission is expected; the award holder may no longer be at the funded organisation. ##

[5] The obligation to report has ceased; a submission may be made but is not expected.

# For the purposes of compliance statistics, if the award is a studentship, the code is used to indicated students currently registered at the funded organisation. This applies irrespective of where the student’s training is taking place.

## Studentships are assigned response code 1 from the third year of the studentship until it ends, and response code 4 for three years after it ends. After this, response codes are changed to code 3 or 5.

Can the impact of COVID-19 on reporting requirements be taken into account?

To help UKRI understand the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on UKRI-funded projects, they will continue with adding the temporary Additional Question section to Researchfish for 2022. The section will consist of a short set of multiple-choice questions which will ask researchers to identify if their project’s outputs and outcomes have been affected by COVID-19 in 2021 and 2022.

The information collected will be used to help UKRI understand the effectiveness of its own response to the COVID-19 pandemic. To ensure they are only asking for the data required for this purpose, the question will be applied to a subset of awards where it is most relevant. Award holders will be informed in the run up to the submission period if they will be asked to answer this section.

Can the impact of ODA funding reductions on reporting requirements be taken into account?

Following the reduction of the UK aid budget for the 2021/22 financial year, the BEIS ODA allocation to UKRI was reduced significantly, leading to a £125m budget and a £120m gap between allocations and commitments to grant holders.

As a result, a number of active grants across the ODA portfolio are no longer able to continue according to their initial project plan, may be delayed, suspended or no longer viable. Therefore, it is expected that a number of ODA award holders will be unable to achieve the expected outcomes for 21/22 and will have limited information and evidence to submit into Researchfish. Though UKRI still encourage award holders to report, exemptions can be requested if an award holder is unable to submit their ODA outcomes on Researchfish.

How will I be contacted?

Emails from UKRI and/or Researchfish will be sent to the email address for each PI that is held by the funder; for UKRI awards and studentships this is the email address listed in Je-S. All communications from funders are with the PI or Student directly. PIs can nominate delegates to help them complete information on their grants but the PI is responsible for the final submission on the system.

What should I do if I am no longer at the University or am on a period of extended leave?

The University has a responsibility to confirm annually with the Research Councils which grants are expected to complete an annual outcomes submission and for ensuring compliance of grant holders at their organisation. If there are reasons why this is not possible or appropriate, the University is able to flag an award accordingly. Please contact if you think this applies to you.

What should I do if I can’t see one of my awards?

Awards are added to Researchfish when your funder supplies them with the required information. For example, the refresh of all UKRI data on Researchfish takes place in the first few weeks of December using information stored in Je-S. This also includes response code changes that UKRI wish to make ahead of the next survey. This process should trigger system-generated invitations to new UKRI grant holders to register with the system, and to existing users to register new awards. Depending how frequently your funder supplies this information, a new award may not appear in the system immediately. In some cases your award may be listed against a different individual (e.g. a previous PI).

If you have issues with the Researchfish system, please contact 

If you have queries related to an UKRI award, please contact 

For other awards, please contact your funder.



What information do I need to provide?

In addition to publications, UKRI is interested in the full range of outcome types including, for example, the development of products (medical, technical and artistic), influences on policy setting and any impact arising from research. For a full list of all the outcome types please log-in to Researchfish to see the Common Question Set.

Please do not add any confidential, sensitive or personal information to Researchfish as outcomes submitted may be made public, for example, through Gateway to Research

Should PhD students submit outcomes for their studentships?

Mostly, only students in the third year onwards will be asked to submit their outcomes. For the 2022 Submission period this means students whose awards started on or before 31 January 2020. However, some students may not be in a position to report their outcomes to UKRI this year due to the ongoing disruption and delays caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, and for this reason reporting by students will once again be optional in 2022, as it was during the 2021 submission period. There are some exemptions (e.g. absence on maternity leave or long-term sickness) and if you feel you should not be included in the survey, please contact your Grad School office at this link.

How long after the award ends do UKRI-funded Students need to complete Researchfish?

In most cases this is three years after the award has ended. However, Councils may vary the period to greater or less than five years for particular grant schemes.

As a PhD student, how do I know if I need to complete Researchfish?

An email will be sent to you and your primary supervisor explaining data collection via Researchfish. First-time users will need to register an account with Researchfish using the link provided in the email.

Research outcomes can be entered or updated in Researchfish at any time but you will need to log-on and submit a return during the annual data submission period (see FAQ 'What is a submission period?' above) to confirm that the information is accurate and complete. The next submission period runs from 7 February 2022 to 16:00 on 17 March 2022. You will receive reminder emails closer to the time.

Can I use my Pure entries to copy and paste information into Researchfish?

You can copy and paste any information you enter in to Pure by extracting the data as a Word document, for example:

  • Select, eg ‘Impacts’ from the left-hand navigation menu;
  • Select ‘Word’ from the download list options at the bottom of the screen;
  • Select render style ‘Long’;
  • Copy and paste any information from the Word document in to your Researchfish entry

What happens to my data?

UKRI wants to exploit the research outcomes data information fully and share with others so as to convey the quality and impact of the UK research base. Outcomes information from Researchfish is published via the UKRI Gateway to Research. Funders also provide summary reports, some of which can be seen here.

Where can I find further information?

• You can access Researchfish “Help and Supporthere including videos and a user guide. Live Chat can be found under the “Contact us” icon and is available from 09:00 to 17:00, Monday to Friday. FAQs are available here. This information is also available once you have logged-in.

• Researchfish hosts regular webinars where you can learn how to use the system or look in more detail at particular areas of functionality. New users are encouraged to sign up for these free short sessions.

• Useful links:

UKRI report your research outcomes

British Heart Foundation

Cancer Research UK

Who should I contact if I have problems with Researchfish?

• If you have issues with the Researchfish system (eg logging in or technical issues), please contact their support team at

• If you have queries related to a UKRI award please contact 

• For other awards, please contact your funder.

• For all other enquiries please contact

• For contact details of the Grad School offices please click this link, or see below.

Faculty Student Support Team

Faculty Contact
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