Researchfish Frequently Asked Questions - students & graduates Researchfish Frequently Asked Questions - students & graduates

The Researchfish 2018 submission exercise is open for responses between Monday 5 February 2018 and 16:00 hours on Thursday 15 March 2018.

I have not received an invitation from Researchfish

Firstly please ensure:

  1. that you are funded by one of the seven UK Research Councils (AHRC, BBSRC, EPSRC, ESRC, MRC, NERC and STFC) or by the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) rather than by other funders. At present the requirement for PhD students to submit their outcomes on Researchfish is for only for those who are funded by the UK Research Councils or NIHR. If you are unsure please contact your supervisor or your Faculty team.
  2. for RCUK funded students - that your studentship started on or before 4 February 2016. Current first and second year students do not need to submit their outcomes during the current submission period. You will not be able to register for Researchfish at the moment but your awards will be added to the Researchfish system at a later date. Once the awards are added to the system you will receive an email from Researchfish Ltd, and at that time you will be able to begin adding outcomes.


If you are a Research Council funded student in year 3+ or an NIHR funded student and you have not received an email with login details or have problems accessing your Researchfish account please contact the help desk at or access the Researchfish 'Help and Support' website at


I have finished my course and left the University. Do I still need to complete the survey?

Research Councils will continue to ask you to complete the Researchfish return for up to 3 years beyond graduation and NIHR will continue to ask you to complete the Researchfish return for up to 5 years beyond graduation. If you have been asked to complete the survey and fall within these time periods, you should complete it.

If there is nothing new to return, you may be able to submit a nul return – please see “Do I still need to submit if I have no outcomes to report?” below.

I have forgotten or need to reset my login username/password

Please email and they will send you your details or access the Researchfish 'Help and Support' website at


The details relating to the studentship award on Researchfish are incorrect. How can these be amended?

Please contact the relevant team in the PGR Service who will amend the JeS Student Data Portal or contact the funder as necessary. Researchfish are unable to change award details.


I have received an invitation from Researchfish but am interrupting during the submission period?

If you are interrupting for the entire Researchfish submission period of 5 February 2018 to 15 March 2018 inclusive and this has been formally approved and recorded on the SITS student record system, we have contacted the RCUK Research Outcomes team to ask that your record is amended from ‘Response code 1: The Student will be asked for a submission this year’ to ‘Response code 2:  No submission will be asked for this year. Student has been granted a one year exemption.’

If you are only interrupting for part of the Researchfish submission period of 5 February 2018 to 15 March 2018 inclusive you will still be required to complete the survey.

I am a taught postgraduate student undertaking an MSc (eg. an MSc in Clinical Research) - do I need to complete the survey?

Yes, you do need to complete the survey if you are funded by NIHR.

The NIHR Evaluation Team have confirmed that "As well as the main outcomes, we have included additional questions as part of an NIHR career tracker. These questions will be aimed at those trainees who have completed their award since the last submission in order to collect information on their career progression, including those on the MSc in Clinical Research scheme. Whilst the sanctions will not apply to NIHR Master's students in 2018 due to the nature of the contract arrangements, we still expect all trainees to submit their portfolio to us. All trainees are free to only complete the sections that are relevant to their research and a ‘nil return’ is acceptable if appropriate and this is expected rather than not submitting at all."


Can I request an extension to the submission deadline?

No, I am afraid that there is no leeway with the deadline – it is a national one for all RCUK and NIHR funded researchers (staff and students/graduates) and after 4pm on 15 March 2018 the system will not allow you to submit.

You can add outcome information to Researchfish at any time, it can only be submitted to your funder once a year in the defined period. So you can add to the information that you provide this year and submit this during the next submission period.

We recommend not leaving your submission to the final day as there is likely to be a high volume of system use on that day and you may experience delays as a result.


Do I still need to submit if I have no outcomes to report?

Yes, you are still expected to complete the submission process, even if there are no outputs to report – a nul return. Not all questions will be relevant to all research projects.

Some funders have ‘Additional Questions’ that are mandatory, in which case it will not be possible to submit the return until these have been completed. Where you have nothing to report at this stage entering ‘No’ or ‘N/A’ in these sections may be sufficient.

You can include outcomes other than publications such as conference attendance (including presentations), internships and placements, collaborations and partnerships, funding (including travel and small grants) or engagement activities (including schools visits and outreach).  You should therefore be able to submit one or more outcomes by the time you have completed your studies. There is no requirement to submit a minimum or maximum number of any particular outcome type under the ‘Common Outcomes’: what to submit is your decision, you need to be happy that data submitted against your award is accurate and up to date.


Which sections should I complete?

The recommendation is that you focus on Publications, Engagement Activities and any mandatory questions required by your funder. Do feel free to submit to other sections if you wish.

Please ensure that you attribute all outcomes to your studentship award by selecting the checkbox to the right of the outcome(s) and dragging and dropping the outcome(s) to your award on the right hand side.

Don’t forget to click on the red “Submit for <name of funder>” box when you have finished adding your outcomes.


I’ve made a mistake in my submission – can I amend it?

Provided the submission period deadline has not passed you can log back into your Researchfish account, make the necessary amendments and resubmit. You may make any number of edits and submissions during the submission period.


Can my supervisor submit on my behalf?

No, supervisors are not able to submit the return on behalf of the student/graduate, this is the responsibility of the student/graduate.

Researchfish has added primary supervisors to studentships as Team Members so they are able to review and edit outcome information, or provide advice. You are able to grant access to additional supervisory team members or other academic staff if necessary.


Why am I being asked to submit this data?

  • Most data submitted to Researchfish in relation to RCUK funded research will appear in the public domain on the Gateway to Research site ( so it may be beneficial for your career as a way of publicising what you have done to a wider audience.
  • The NIHR's Researchfish Update 2017 web page provides further details on the benefits of submitting outcomes.
  • If you are intending to go into academia you are likely to need to report on other funded grants in the future and can build up a portfolio of research outputs on Researchfish. You only need one Researchfish account which will record all grants awarded.
  • Funders use this information for communicating about what has arisen from the research they fund, and it is vital information for them in securing ongoing funding from the government for research in the current climate. The more funders can demonstrate value-for-money, the more funding will be available in the future for research grants and studentships.
  • The University’s overall return rates (staff and students/graduates) will be considered in any future doctoral training funding calls. A low institutional return rate is likely to be detrimental to any future bids.

Students and graduates may find the RCUK Research Outcomes web pages and the  NIHR's Researchfish Update 2017 web page  helpful.


What support is available from Researchfish?

Help and guidance is provided throughout the Researchfish system (see the blue "?" symbol throughout). There is an online Help Centre available within the system, with FAQs, context sensitive enquiry functionality and Live Chat (available 9am to 5pm, Monday - Friday).

The Researchfish 'Help and Support' website is available at

More video tutorials are available via the dedicated Researchfish YouTube channel.

The Researchfish help desk can be contacted via


What support is available from the University?

In the first instance please speak to your supervisor who should be able to help you with research-specific queries.

Further information on Researchfish and the help available within UEA during the submission period can be found at this UEA page on Reporting the Results of Funded Research - Researchfish.

Researchers can also email questions regarding the use of Researchfish to

Students based at one of the NBI Institutes can access further information and guidance sessions through the NBI Intranet at http://intranet/cms/2878 (please note, this link does not work outside of NBI).

For any other queries regarding Researchfish in relation to students please contact Paul Vazquez in the UEA PGR Service via email address