Recording your Research Outcomes for RCUK using Researchfish

Guidance for the 2016-17 submission

All Pls on RCUK funded grants are required to feedback the outcomes of their projects to the Research Funding Council via Researchfish.  If you hold a grant from a charitable organisation you may also be required to feedback the outcomes from your grant to Researchfish.  A complete list of funders using Researchfish for outcomes collections can be found at:

RCUK funded students are now also able to record outcomes in Researchfish.

The submission period for 2016-17 is 6th February 2017 - 16th March 2017.



What is Researchfish?

Researchfish is an online facility used by research funders and Research Organisations, including RCUK, to track the outcomes from their investments.  Pls who have received funding are asked to log the outputs, outcomes and impacts of their work in the system.

For more details visit:

How do I access Researchfish?

All Pls with eligible grants should have received an email from the Researchfish team with guidance on how to set up an account.  You can login at :  Any access issues or account requests should be directed to

Pure and Researchfish

The current version of Researchfish does not have any interoperability with University Research information systems e.g. Pure.  This means that we are unable to transfer data in bulk to Researchfish, so you will need to enter all project outcomes into Researchfish even if you have already entered them in Pure.

A delegate account can be created against an award to allow another user to enter content on your behalf, see Adding data to Research for more details.

Responsibility and Compliance

Who should record outcomes?

Pls are required to complete a submission to Researchfish as part of the terms and conditions of holding a grant from RCUK.  Some charitable organisations also require submission via Researchfish.

All Research Council funded students whose awards started on or before 5th February 2015, are expected to submit a return to Researchfish.  Students and their primary supervisors will receive an email from Researchfish in January 2017.

Why record outcomes?

As a Pl, a researcher has a responsibility to demonstrate they have delivered value for money from public investment.  The data provided to Researchfish will be used to inform future investment and published on the Gateway to Research portal.

Sanctions Policy

The next data submission period (6th Feb - 16th Mar 2017) will be the first where all councils will apply sanctions for noncompliant awards.

The full detailed policy can be viewed at:

Non-compliant researchers will:

  • lose eligibility to apply for further awards from any Research Council
  • and any current awards will have their payments withheld until such time as the Pl becomes compliant

This does not apply to students, though overall institutional compliance may be considered in making future doctoral training awards.

Further details and exceptions can be found at:

Support for Researchfish

Researchfish provide online technical support including instructional videos, regular webinars, FAQs and a real time chat facility at

A new user interface will be available from 6th January 2017. A guide to this is available at

If your query relates to the grant itself, please contact the appropriate funding council directly.

Adding data to Researchfish

What data needs to be returned?

The Common Question Set

A Common Question Set has been agreed across all the Researchfish Funders.  You will be asked to provide data on a range of outcomes including: Publications, Collaborations, Engagement activities etc.  A full list of the common questions can be found at:

Funder specific question sets

Each individual council has a number of specific questions that must be completed prior to the submission for each grant.  Unlike the common question set these additional questions are mandatory.  If there is no information to submit for these sections, use "not applicable this year".

Before submission

  • Ensure that outcomes are properly attributed to awards.
  • Check that the information to be submitted is NOT sensitive or confidential.

Data provided to Researchfish should be:  As complete as possible, accurate and Non-confidential.

Do I have to enter all the data myself?

You have the option to add a delegate user to your Researchfish account to support entry of outcomes.  Adding a delegate user to your Researchfish return:

  1. Log into Researchfish (
  1. Once logged in, on your home screen you will see a section called "My Network", click Add new and fill in the invitee details.  Once complete, an email will be sent to the delegate you have provided.
  1. When the delegate has accepted the invitation they will be listed as a delegate on your account.  They will then have access to upload publications on your behalf.
  • Only the Pl can make the final submission, delegates are not eligible to submit.

A delegate user could be someone else in your research group, a research administrator etc.


Making a Submission

Although Pls can use Researchfish to add and edit outcomes throughout the year the submission period does not run throughout the year.  Pls will receive reminder emails from Researchfish as the submission period approaches.  Researchers (including students) will need to log on to Researchfish and submit a return between the start of 6th February and 4pm on 16th March 2017 to confirm that their information is accurate and complete at that time.

Successful submissions will be confirmed by email.

Nil Returns

Pls should still make a submission for their grants even if they have no outcomes to report.  Only the Pl is able to make a nil submission.

To make a nil submission the Pl must add "not applicable this year" for all the mandatory questions required by their funders on each grant, and then submitting.  The Researchfish system will prevent submission from taking place until the mandatory questions have been answered.

Future Developments



At the moment, Researchfish does not allow bulk upload from Pure and can only be updated by an individual, therefore the University is unable to make an institutional submission on your behalf.

Following an interoperability pilot with 31 research organisations carried out at the start of 2015, discussions are continuing with RCUK and a subset of institutions from the pilot looking at how to improve the transfer of data from CRIS systems such as Pure, the use of ORCID profiles to exchange data, how to examine ways to improve funding attribution on manuscript submission, and how to improve funding attribution in Research Council supported PhD theses.

ORCID Integration

For the past several years researchers have been able to add ORCID iDs into Researchfish.  Following a recent integration, researchers will soon be able to permit the flow of publication information between Researchfish and their ORCID profile.

If you do not already have an ORCID ID, you can obtain one from within Pure.

Further details on future developments can be found at: