Common Questions about Researchfish

Why do I have to do this?

The submission on Researchfish is compulsory under the terms of conditions of RCUK (now UKRI) grants.  It is vital that all PIs respond within the specified timeframe and report on research outcomes on all grants, both ongoing and completed.  Research councils have recently announced that failure to complete the return on time may incur sanctions. 

Submission of research outcomes, for most funders, is required each year between February and March. Some funders use alternative submission dates, your funder should contact you directly when the submission period opens.   Annual submissions have to be made for all live grants, and for five years after their completion.  This includes ‘nil returns’ where no outcomes can be reported.  There are short webinars (lasting around 10 mins) on the Researchfish website to help you find out how to use the system:

My grant has only just started – do I have to do this?

Yes, even if a grant has only been live for a matter of days or weeks, the PI will be expected to submit a ‘nil’ return.

My grant completed some time ago and I do not expect any more outputs – do I have to do this?

Funders normally expect reporting for some time after the grant has completed. 

RCUK (now UKRI) require reports for each year the grant is live and at least five years after completion.  For larger and more complex grants the reporting period may be longer than that. 

RCUK (now UKRI) funded students will be required to report for three years after completion of studies.

What happens if I don't submit to researchfish?

There are now sanctions for noncompliance with Researchfish. The policy is detailed here and 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 PI becomes compliant. This does not apply to students, though overall institutional compliance may be considered in making future doctoral training awards. 

When are new awards uploaded into Researchfish?

New grants are uploaded to Researchfish each September.  Please check the grant information carefully when it appears as PIs are responsible to notify any changes through JE-S.   Changes of PI  or e-mail address  have to be notified by November and the data in Researchfish is refreshed in December following those changes.

How can I amend Award Information in Researchfish?

Details of existing awards on Researchfish are refreshed annually with data taken from Je-S. Details of new grants are also taken from this source. Student award details are those submitted by your research organisation through Je-S Student Details.  

What will Researchfish data be used for?

The data entered into Researchfish is used by funders to for many purposes –e.g.  to establish a return on their investment or to highlight academic and non-academic impact of research funded by them.  RCUK (now UKRI) use the information to populate the public website Gateway to Research ( ), other funders use it to showcase impacts and case studies on websites and in their publications.  The list of publications entered into Researchfish will also be used by RCUK (now UKRI) and Wellcome to monitor compliance with open access requirements.

Does Researchfish integrate with, or harvest information from, any other systems?
  • ORCID integration: Researchfish integrates with ORCID profiles.  Researchers who have an ORCID profile can push and pull information between ORCID and Researchfish.  More information can be found here

  • Integration with Institutional Systems: A pilot with 31 research organisations carried out at the start of 2015 identified around 3,000 additional publications added to University CRIS systems that could be transferred to Researchfish. PIs on those awards received a communication letting them know how many publications had been added as a result of the details being extracted from their papers and the pilot work with Universities. A spreadsheet upload process was developed from the Pilot study and is available for use by subscribing institutions. Researchfish are continuing to work towards improving transfer of data from CRIS systems, the use of ORCID profiles to exchange data, funding attribution on manuscript submission, and funding attribution in Research Council supported PhD theses.

  • Upload of Publication Data: As part of the terms and conditions of receiving funding from Research Councils, publications must acknowledge their Research Council support, including the award reference number. Where funding award acknowledgement is included in the publication, and the metadata infrastructure exists, details of such publications will be imported into Researchfish automatically, without manual input.  Over the last few years several thousand publications compliant with MRC’s publication attribution and open access policy have been directly uploaded into Researchfish in this way. Following work to expand this approach around 18,000 additional publications acknowledging funding across all seven Research Councils have been identified in bibliographic databases and continue to be added into Researchfish. 

How can the University help?

Help with researchfish returns and Data entry

The University hosts hundreds of live and completed grants on Researchsfish for which reporting is required.  Reporting these outcomes is the responsibility of each PI, and Researchfish does not envisage a role for central research offices in entering data and completing the returns.

Researchfish does not automatically grant administrators access to PI accounts.  While administrative staff can check who has responded, they are not able to enter or amend any data in individual accounts, unless they are given delegate status.  We strongly encourage all PIs to invite the generic e-mail address as a delegate on their account (User name Research Support; e-mail:  This will allow a pool of administrators access and will enable us to validate entries and help with the submission as required. can also be contacted if you require further information. 

Please note that, if you are using a delegate, submission can only be made from the PI account.

What about Technical help and support?

Any questions about technical issues and access to accounts should be addressed to Researchfish themselves.  Questions can be asked by using the webform on or the live chat functionality on the website.

How can I find out more?

If you have any questions about entering your publications on Researchfish you can contact Marlis Barraclough or Nykohla Strong on .  Questions about entering impact and outcomes other than publications can be addressed to your Business Development Officer at .