How do you build research impact culture in research institutions?
In academia and research organisations generally, the influence of research goes beyond the limits of labs, classrooms, and campuses. It shapes industries, informs policies, and transforms societies. As guardians of knowledge and innovation, universities and research institutes have a profound responsibility to not only generate groundbreaking research but also ensure its wide-reaching impact. However, achieving this requires more than just producing high-quality studies.
Cultivating an Impact Culture
It demands the cultivation of a ‘research impact culture’ – a communal ethos where every academic staff member, from professors to research assistants, appreciates and contributes to the power of research to make a difference. An ingrained research impact culture can empower academic institutions to lead intellectual discourse, pioneer innovation, and inspire societal progress. It can provide the intellectual ammunition to address complex, real-world challenges and shape the future. However, the journey to building such a culture within an academic institution can seem daunting.
Fostering Cultural Change within the Academic Community
So, how can we foster this cultural change within the academic community? What steps can universities and research institutes take to encourage staff to not only produce high-quality research but also understand and enhance its impact?
Key Strategies and Elements for Building a Research Impact Culture
Let’s delve into some key strategies and elements that can stimulate the development of a research impact culture within your institution. When effectively implemented, these measures can ignite a transformative wave that doesn’t just bolster your institution’s academic standing, but also its societal influence and legacy.
Leadership Support: Commitment from the top-level management in promoting research and its utility in decision-making is crucial for establishing a research impact culture.
Clear Objectives: Clearly stated research objectives that align with the organisation’s mission and vision can foster a research-friendly environment.
Training and Development: Regular training and development programs to enhance researchers translation skills can support the establishment of a research impact culture.
Collaboration: Encouraging cross disciplinary and external collaborations can foster a stronger emphasis on research with meaning beyond academia.
Resource Allocation: Providing sufficient resources, both in terms of finance and time, to conduct, disseminate, and implement research findings is important.
Incentives and Rewards: Recognising and rewarding staff who contribute to research translation efforts can reinforce a culture of research impact.
Policy and Procedures: Establishing clear policies and procedures around how we conduct and translate research can help embed a research culture.
Communicating Impact: Regularly communicating the impact and benefits of past organisational research to all staff members can help them understand the value and importance of research beyond the institution.
Hiring and Promotion Policies: Hiring and promoting individuals who value research translation and its impact can strengthen a research culture.
Technological Infrastructure: Implementing the necessary technology and digital tools can facilitate research activities and support the capture and communication of their impact.
Knowledge Sharing: Encouraging a culture of knowledge sharing can help propagate research findings and their implications throughout more broadly.
Mentorship Programs: Establishing mentorship programs where researchers with impact experience guide and support less experienced staff to foster an impactful research environment.
Feedback Mechanisms: Regular feedback on research translation activities and their outcomes can help in refining processes and improving research impact over time.
Risk Management: Cultivating an environment where risks are managed rather than avoided can encourage innovative research and translation.
Practical Steps to Create a Cultural Shift
How can we make to ensure that our research isn’t just exceptional but influential?
As we’ve explored, nurturing a research impact culture within academic institutions is crucial in our ever-evolving global landscape. It’s about more than just creating high-quality research; it’s about understanding the profound implications of our work and using it to shape a better future.
This is where the 2023 Research Impact Summit comes in. This year, our theme is “Creating and Nurturing an Impact Culture.” We’ll explore innovative strategies, share best practices, and hear from leading experts in the field about how to foster a culture that not only values research but fully appreciates its potential to make a difference.
Whether you’re an established academic, a budding researcher, or an administrative leader, this summit is a must-attend. It’s an opportunity to join a global conversation about the future of academic research, and how we can shape it to create the most significant impact possible.
Join our online event to improve your impact culture
So, what are you waiting for? Be part of this transformative conversation. The 2023 Research Impact Summit is a free event, open to all who are passionate about enhancing the impact of academic research. Register today and take your place at the forefront of this critical cultural shift. Together, let’s create a culture of research impact that resonates beyond the walls of our institutions and drives positive change in the wider world.
Register for the 2023 Research Impact Summit here.
Let’s shape the future of research, together.