Skip navigation to content

Recording your Research Outcomes for RCUK

Guidance for the 2018 submission

All PIs 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 collection can be found at:

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

The submission period for 2018 will start on 5th February 2018 and finish at 4pm on 15th March 2018. 



What is Researchfish?

Researchfish is an online facility used by research funders and Research Organisations, including RCUK, to track the outcomes from their investments. PIs 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 PIs 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

I’ve already entered my data in Pure, do I need to complete Researchfish too?

Interoperability - Pure to Researchfish

The University of St Andrews took part in an interoperability pilot study to enable transfer of content from Pure. This has now successfully concluded and has been rolled out to all institutions this year. This covers publication data which is published, publicly available and has either a DOI or Pubmed ID. 

Staff:  To include your publications, ensure your Pure profile is up to date and all the publicly available publications are linked to your grant funding. By completing these links in Pure your publication data can be uploaded to Researchfish centrally reducing the reporting burden on you. 

To make a link to your grant in Pure:

  • Make sure the publication DOI (or Pubmed ID, if relevant) is recorded
  • Create a link to the project funding source
  • In the publication template, scroll to the relations section and click the project button
  • Search for the title of your funded project and select it, if your publication has more than one funding source you can keep adding as many relations as you need
  • Save the changes you have made by clicking the blue 'Save' button

RCUK Funded Students:  You may find that some publications have already been added to researchfish for you. This is usually the case where you have published with a current member of St Andrews staff. To include your publications going forward all you have to do is enter them into Pure. Your publications will be included in the uploads if they meet the following criteria: 

  • the publication has a DOI (or Pubmed ID, if relevant)
  • the publication visibility is set to 'Publicly Accessible'  in Pure
  • the publication is within or after the period of your studentship

All:  Your publication data will be uploaded to Researchfish from Pure between 15th December 2017 – 4th February 2018.

You will still be required to login to Researchfish during the submission period (5th Feb – 15th March 2018) to add additional non-publication outputs but you should not have to re-enter the publication data already provided from Pure. It is important that you continue to add non-publication outputs into Researchfish directly.

Delegate and team member accounts can be created against an award to allow other users to enter content against your grants, see help, training and guidance for more details.

Pure to ORCID to Researchfish

It is also possible to upload your publication data from Pure by linking it to your ORCID profile and then linking your ORCID profile to your Researchfish account. 

Guidance on creating an ORCID and linking it to your Researchfish profile can be found at:  Linking Pure to ORCID

Staff:  Please note ORCID does not have a concept of your grant funding information so publications uploaded to Researchfish via this method will still need to be linked to the correct grant directly in Researchfish.


Responsibility and Compliance

Who should record outcomes

PIs 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 Je-S registered Research Council funded students will be included in Researchfish. For 2018 the cohort required to complete is as below:

  • Students who are in the third or later year of their studies will be asked to submit their outcomes.

Students and their primary supervisors should receive an email explaining Researchfish in January 2018 and newly added students should also expect to receive invitation links directly from Researchfish in January 2018.

Why record your outcomes

As a PI, 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

All councils will apply sanctions for non-compliant awards, where no Researchfish submission has been completed during the submission period (5th Feb - 15th Mar 2018).

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 PI becomes compliant

Please note:  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

Help, Training and Guidance

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

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

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. 

Can I get support for entering data?

You have the option to add a delegate or research team member user to your Researchfish account to support entry of outcomes. 

A delegate enables a 3rd party to access your account to assist in adding data into your portfolio, e.g. a personal assistant.

A research team member has their own portfolio in researchfish but can be given sight of your awards, which enables them to assign data from their own portfolio to the shared award, e.g. a co-investigator.

Adding a delegate/team member user to your Researchfish return:

  1. Log into Researchfish (
  2. Once logged in, click on the award you'd like to add a delegate for
  3. On the right hand side under Research Team click the button 'Add delegate or research team member'
  4. Fill in the invitee details. Once Invite User is clicked an email will be sent to the person you have added
  5. When they have accepted the invitation they will be listed in your network
  • Please note, only the PI can make the final submission, delegates/team members are not eligible to submit. 

If you require central support please contact


Submitting to ResearchFish

Making a Submission

Although PIs can use Researchfish to add and edit outcomes throughout the year the submission period does not run throughout the year. PIs 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 during the submission period (5th February to 15th March 2018) to confirm that their information is accurate and complete at that time. 

The 2018 submission period is from 5th February to 4pm on 15th March, 2018.

Researchers must ensure that information they submit is NOT sensitive or confidential and may be safely released into the public domain. The lead PI must submit the data to confirm acceptance of the Principles of Use:

Submitting Data

During the submission period, you will see something similar to the screenshot below, with award(s) where a mandatory submission is expected highlighted red, and those with a non-mandatory submission highlighted orange. These will be grouped by funder. You can find guidance on answering the Mandatory Additional Questions on the RCUK website. Once you have completed the MAQs for each award, you must submit each individually, remembering to complete the full process for all funders. A checkbox to indicate that The Principles Of Use have been read will also be presented before submitting (there may also be an additional checkbox if data has not been entered in every section to indicate that this omission is intentional).

Successful submissions will be confirmed by email, and the succesfully submitted awards will show highlighted green. If they don't show in the green highlighted section or you don't get an email, submission is not complete, and you should go back to the award to check and complete the process.


Nil Returns

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

To make a nil submission the PI 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.

RCUK Research Outcomes Harmonisation Project

What is the harmonisation Project?

What has happened to the data entered in ROS or final reports?

What are the differences between ResearchFish and ROS?

Data migration

A migration exercise took place to move existing outcomes data both from ROS and Researchfish to the new model in 2014. As a result, users may see “triangle” warnings on some of their records, these triangles indicate that there is some new mandatory information missing. 

The ROS migration has had some issues which mean a number of records were not transferred to the new system. It may be that the data was too old, did not meet the necessary data quality standard, or did not map to the Researchfish question set. In addition, full text documents previously uploaded to ROS were not transferred as this functionality is not supported by Researchfish.

Interoperability Pilot & Future Developments


December 2017 - Interoperability rolled out to all institutions

The University of St Andrews continues to participate in the interoperability project. For 2018, the upload from Pure will include:

  • Data provided via Pure will include Content from all schools where
    • Research Outputs have a DOI or Pubmed ID
    • Are published and publicly visible in the period 2015-2018
    • Are linked to a project in Pure which is also listed in Researchfish
  • Uploads from Pure will be taken from 15th December – 4th February 2018
  • All Researchers (including students) are still required to login to Researchfish during the submission period (5th Feb – 15th March 2018) to add additional non-publication outputs, and submit their completed returns.

Please note the publication information uploaded from Pure will be visible in Researchfish for the start of the submission period.

November 2016 - Interoperability Pilot 

The University of St Andrews continues to participate in the pilot interoperability project. For 2017, the pilot is limited as follows but will this year also include the upload to student Researchfish profiles of publications by RCUK funded students co-authored with a St Andrews staff member:

  • Data provided via Pure will include Content from all schools where
    • Research Outputs have a DOI or Pubmed ID
    • Are published and publicly visible in the period 2014-2017
    • Are linked to a project in Pure which is also listed in Researchfish
  • Uploads from Pure will be taken from 14th November – 28th November 2016
  • A possible additional upload in January 2017, still to be confirmed by RCUK
  • All Students are still required to login to Researchfish during the submission period (6th Feb – 16th March 2016) to add additional non-publication outputs

Please note the publication information uploaded as part of the pilot will not be visible in Researchfish until December 2016.

Autumn 2016 - Interoperability Pilot

Researchfish will this year begin allowing regular bulk upload from Pure for publications as part of the interoperability pilot in which the University of St Andrews is participating. The pilot will cover all schools and will inlcude publications only where they have been linked to a grant, are publicly available, published and have a DOI or Pubmed id.

All PIs will still be required to login to Researchfish during the submission period (Feb – March 2017) to add additional non-publication outputs and make their final submission. It is important for the ongoing support of interoperability development that a researchers continue to engage with reseachfish directly to record non-publication information.

This development follows on from the November 2015 interoperability pilot

November 2015 - Interoperability Pilot

The University of St Andrews participated along with a small number of HEIs in an interoperability pilot between Pure and Researchfish. The key aim of the pilot is to show good quality data can be provided directly from our institutional research information system. 

At St Andrews:

  • Four schools were invited to participate in the 2025 pilot:  Chemistry, Physics & Astronomy, Biology and Mathematics & Statistics
  • Data provided via Pure:  Research Outputs that have a DOI published in the period 2014-2015
  • An extract was uploaded to Researchfish based on Pure content snapshot at 30th October 2015

All Academics involved in the Pilot were still required to login to Researchfish during the submission period (1st Feb – 10th March 2016) to add additional non-publication outputs.

ORCID Integration

For several years researchers have been able to add ORCID iDs into Researchfish. Researchers are now able to permit the flow of publication information between Researchfish and their ORCID profile. You can also use the publications search in Researchfish to fetch publications from your ORCID and add them to your Researchfish portfolio.

Further details on future developments can be found at:

If you have any queries on the above, please contact