100x Impact Accelerator Research Grants

The aim is to create ‘social unicorns’ - organisations creating positive impact on the scale of billions. This will only be achieved by pairing social enterprises with philanthropically-backed capital and LSE’s research

Leslie Labruto - 100x Impact Accelerator Director


Established in 2022, 100x Impact Accelerator identifies, invests in, and accelerates the most promising social enterprises that are addressing the world’s most pressing social problems. Based in the Marshall Institute at the London School of Economics, and anchored with a £50 million philanthropic gift, 100x Impact Accelerator aims to leverage the research within the LSE to identify critical gaps and levers within pressing social sectors, and then find social enterprises with solutions to those problems.

From the initial £50 million gift to establish the Accelerator, up to £500,000 each year - for the first ten years of operations - has been allocated to support evidence- and evaluation-based research at the LSE, in the form of 100x Impact Accelerator Research Grants. These Grants will directly connect the Accelerator with the wider LSE community, and will provide a link between LSE researchers and social enterprises working to solve the world’s most pressing social problems.

Research Streams 

There will be two streams of research eligible to be funded by 100x Impact Accelerator.

1. Social Enterprise Support

Funding to conduct research working directly with one of the Accelerator cohort social enterprises, in order to test the effectiveness of the intervention, provide evidence that can evolve the working hypothesis of the venture, and/or identify and evaluate ways to improve.

Please note that only social enterprises already linked with the Accelerator will be eligible for inclusion in this stream.

There are two ways in which a project scope can be generated:

1. The selected 100x Impact Accelerator ventures may scope out specific research needs that can be partnered on with LSE academic and/or research staff, on which an application can then be based. These details can be provided on request by emailing research@100ximpact.org

2. LSE academic and/or research staff can generate innovative project ideas that may advance the impact and/or mission of the 100x cohort ventures.

To find out more about the ventures selected for Cohort 1, please visit the 100x Impact Accelerator website.

2. Accelerator Support

Funding to conduct research to better understand and further the effectiveness of the Accelerator itself. This can include, for example, evidencing and evaluating the Accelerator’s activities and their effectiveness within the social enterprise ecosystem.

Themes of Focus 

LSE research funded by 100x Impact Accelerator under the Social Enterprise Support Stream will need to identify with one of our eight themes of focus in order to be eligible. These are: climate and environment; health and social care; refugees and cohesion; equitable economies; happiness and wellbeing; democracy; education; and new frontiers.

To find out more about each theme, visit the Impact Areas pages on the 100x Impact Accelerator website.

Grant Details

Minimum and maximum value of each grant

Applicants can apply for between £15,000 and £100,000 for each project. Applications where the total budget sits below £15,000 or goes above £100,000 will not be considered.

Maximum length of grant period

Each 100x Impact Accelerator funded research project is expected to be completed within 12 months of the official start date. The official start date must be by the end of the first March following the date of award.

Application Details

In order to apply for a 100x Impact Accelerator Research Grant, an application form detailing the project aims, proposed plan of action, and alignment with one of the Research Streams, along with a budget forecast, data management plan, and ethical approval confirmation will need to be completed.

Application forms and budget templates are available to download below. Completed applications, budget forecasts, Data Management Plans and Ethics Review application approvals will need to be submitted to research@100ximpact.org by 11:59pm on 3rd September 2023. 

Applicants will be notified by the end of October as to whether or not their proposed project will receive a 100x Impact Accelerator Research Grant. All awarded projects are required to start by the end of the first March following the date of award.

For full details of the grants and the application process, please refer to this document.

Click here to download the application form.

Click here to download the budget template.


Who is eligible to apply?

Any member of salaried academic or research staff in employment at the LSE for the duration of the grant period can apply for a 100x Impact Accelerator Research Grant.

Are staff costs eligible to be charged to these grants?

Directly incurred research staff costs, including hourly paid research staff costs, are eligible to be charged to 100x Impact Accelerator Research Grants. Directly allocated and professional service staff costs are not eligible. Grants cannot be used for buy-outs or PFRs

Can the funds be used to host an event?

Funds can be used towards hosting an event that relates to the project, but the majority of the Grant should be used for original research that fits within one of the two Research Streams outlined.

Can the funds be used to pay for travel?

Funds can be used to pay for travel that specifically relates to and supports the progress of the project, but the reasons why the travel is necessary should be clearly stated in the application.

Can the funds be used to attend a conference?

Funds can be used to cover conference registration and associated travel costs where the work and findings of the 100x Impact Accelerator-funded project are being presented, but the majority of the Grant should be used for carrying out the original research that would be being presented. The Grant cannot be used to cover conference attendance for any other work not funded by 100x Impact Accelerator, 100x Impact Accelerator should be acknowledged in the presentation, and a copy of the conference details and presentation abstract should be shared with research@100ximpact.org in advance of the event.

Can the funds be used to 'top up' an existing research project?

100x Impact Accelerator Research Grant funds can be used to fund work that relates to and complements an existing research project, but there should be a distinct, specific element of the work that the Accelerator funds are being used for, linked to a specific venture or intervention.

How will applications be assesssed?

The 100x Impact Accelerator Research Selection Committee will consider all applications individually against the established selection criteria prior to meeting in early October to decide collectively on which projects will receive funding. The Selection Committee are: 

  • Prof. Susana Mourato - Vice President and Pro-Vice Chancellor (Research)
  • Prof. Stephan Chambers - Director, The Marshall Institute
  • Leslie Labruto - Director, 100x Impact Accelerator 
  • Dr. Jonathan Roberts - Teaching Director, The Marshall Institute 
  • Nell Lemaistre - Head of Programme, 100x Impact Accelerator
  • Dr. Keri Rowsell - Head of Operations, 100x Impact Accelerator

Can an unsuccessful application be resubmitted in another year?

Unfortunately, only new applications can be considered by the Selection Committee, unless the Committee specifically requests a resubmission.

Can a member of the Selection Committee apply for a grant?

Yes, members of the Selection Committee are eligible to apply for a grant, however they will be required to recuse themselves from consideration of their application.

Can funds be used for research projects involving ventures that are not part of the 100x programme?

100x Impact Accelerator Research Grant funds can only be used for research involving ventures already linked with the Accelerator.