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The Research Impact Academy works together with associates that are experts in their disciplines. Through our collaborative approach, we bring you more value and opportunities for impact.

Tamika Heiden

Tamika Heiden


Kate Sqaure (1)

Kate Shook

Impact Officer


cathie withyman


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Lynnor Capatar Maraña

Executive Assistant

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Ivy salaum

Marketing Officer

Tamika Heiden

Dr Tamika Heiden

Principal and founder

Dr Tamika Heiden founded Knowledge Translation Australia in 2014. It has since transformed to become the Research Impact Academy (2019). Tamika has a background in health research and research coordination where she was focused for more than 15 years. Tamika is passionate about making impact easier for researchers and research organisations.

Tamika’s education in knowledge translation and research imapct, along with her dedication to improving social outcomes from research, led her to develop Knowledge Translation Australia. Tamika’s goal, and purpose as the Principal of the Research Impact Academy, is to ensure that research is relevant and accessible to the people who need it. Tamika has well developed networks, both nationally and internationally, and has trained widely in the field of research impact.

Coming from an applied science background Tamika’s purpose was to do research to make a difference. Tamika was first introduced to the science behind knowledge translation whilst she was working in Aboriginal Health. The idea of research belonging to the community it would serve and of that community being involved with the research from conception through to delivery aligned with her personal philosophy, that knowledge should be shared.

Through her experience in research impact and translation Tamika has won coveted awards in translation from SickKids Hospital and in innovation from the Canadian Knowledge Mobilization forum. Tamika is regularly invited to present on research impact, run workshops for researchers, and assist in strategic planning.

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Kate Shook

Research Impact Officer

Kate is a dedicated professional with a passion for delivering impact case studies and providing valuable support in evaluations and reporting for clients at the Research Impact Academy (RIA). With a robust background in health promotion, research, and policy, Kate has amassed extensive experience in both public and private sectors, showcasing her commitment to contributing to meaningful causes through her work.

Kate possesses exceptional talent and skills in communication, advocacy, and project management, which have been instrumental in her success across various roles aimed at enhancing health outcomes. Drawing from her previous experience as an educator, she has developed a deep appreciation for evidence-based practice and a comprehensive understanding of the key elements that drive effective teaching and learning. This expertise enables her to meticulously plan, develop, and deliver educational content that resonates with diverse groups and individual learners, ensuring maximum impact and comprehension.

At RIA, Kate utilises her optimistic and collaborative approach, combined with her genuine enthusiasm for quality research, to assist researchers to create, capture, and effectively communicate their impact. Kate contributes to the highly experienced team, offering support to RIA’s research impact consulting services, focused training solutions, and global membership for researchers and research support staff.

With her comprehensive skill set, Kate plays a pivotal role in advancing RIA’s mission to empower researchers to amplify the significance of their work and drive meaningful change.

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Ivy Salaum

Marketing and Social Media Guru

Ivy Marie Salaum is an accomplished Marketing and Communications professional, boasting a degree in Mass Communication from Silliman University, the first American university in the Philippines. Ivy specializes in Digital Marketing and possesses a passion for transforming creative visions into reality, generating exceptional results for the company. The striking images seen across the Research Impact Academy’s website, social channels, and other media platforms can be attributed to her top-tier talent and skills in making RIA shine.

With over four years of experience in Marketing and Communications, Ivy has collaborated with various organizations in the hospitality industry and local Philippine media. She has honed her expertise in event organization, brand awareness, promotion, and advertising, and has demonstrated proficiency in crafting successful campaigns and materials that drive tangible results.

Currently serving as the Digital Marketing Coordinator for the Research Impact Academy, Ivy plays an integral role within the team. She is responsible for devising and implementing effective marketing strategies, engaging with clients, and cultivating brand awareness. Ivy’s unwavering dedication to providing an exceptional client experience, coupled with her ability to deliver measurable results that surpass expectations, truly sets her apart.

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Lynnor Capatar Maraña

Logistics extraordinaire and Executive Assistant to Director

Lynnor Capatar Maraña serves as the Executive Assistant at Research Impact Academy, a premier research consultancy based in Australia. Residing in the picturesque tropical paradise of the Philippines, Lynnor has been a vital contributor to the team for nearly half a decade.

As a highly adaptable team member, Lynnor excels in multitasking and efficiently manages multiple projects at once. Her expertise encompasses overseeing the company’s logistics, fostering client relationships, and ensuring timely adherence to deadlines. Working tirelessly behind the scenes, Lynnor guarantees the smooth execution of operations. She takes great pride in facilitating well-organized workshops, meetings, and appointments, enabling the team to concentrate on providing top-notch services to clients.

Lynnor earned her degree in Hotel and Restaurant Management from St. Paul University Dumaguete, a distinguished Catholic University in Dumaguete City, Philippines. Her experience in the hospitality sector has honed her exceptional communication, organizational, and time management skills, which she now skillfully applies to her role at Research Impact Academy.

As a logistics virtuoso, Lynnor’s unwavering dedication and expertise are invaluable to both the Research Impact Academy and its director, who rely on her integral support to thrive.

Our Associates

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Dr Narelle Tunstall


Principal and Founder, Empirical Research Development

With extensive experience in research management, grant writing and researcher development, Dr Narelle Tunstall provides expert support and coaching to help researchers achieve their goals. 

Narelle is passionate about supporting researchers and facilitating research outcomes. Narelle supports researchers to articulate clear and compelling narratives of their research and career impacts for research grants, academic promotions, and award applications. 

To date she has completed hundreds of critical grant reviews, across all major schemes and disciplines, supporting over $55 million in research funding. She also facilitates career and talent development programs with a focus on supporting women in academia.

Narelle’s experience extends across the largest Go8s to the youngest Australian Universities in various researcher development and research management roles. This has included management of an NHMRC Centre for Clinical Research Excellence, a Commonwealth Collaborative Research Network, and two ARC Industrial Transformation Training Centres.

Narelle has a Bachelor of Science (Hons) and a PhD in genetics from Monash University and a Graduate Certificate in Career Development Practice.

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Cathie Withyman


Communications and Impact Specialist

Cathie Withyman is a research impact communication specialist. She has worked with leading universities and government departments both domestically and internationally to develop and craft engaging and insightful impact narratives.

Cathie possesses over 20 years experience partnering with researchers, program managers and communication professionals to facilitate training and skills development in the effective communication of research and program impacts. She is a master at drawing out the true nature of impacts and weaving this into a compelling narrative.

A key achievement of Cathie’s to date has been the compilation of a leading Australian University’s submission to the Australian Research Council’s 2018 Impact and Engagement Assessment. Cathie managed the development and authoring of 12 Impact Case Studies and 10 Research Engagement Narratives over an intense six-month period.

She is skilled at coaching and mentoring research academics to plan, record and report on research impact. She has developed training programs and resource materials to support academics in this increasingly important area of their work.


Carolyn Crawford


Director, F2F pl

After a decade in stockbroking, listening to and watching a vast array of effective, and not so effective, communications, from morning meetings through to annual results, Carolyn Crawford became inspired and one-tracked in her desire to support people to be more clear, confident, focused and influential, in all their daily business meetings and conversations.

She’s now been a corporate communications coach for over 23 years, is a global online communication skills trainer and an Amazon best-selling author of the unique graphic guide to business presenting, ‘Presenting To The Max’.

She has worked with almost 11,500 people across the full gamut of industries and at all levels of those businesses, combining elegantly simple toolkits with direct personal coaching to ensure business people are fully equipped for every conversation – whether written or spoken, easy or difficult, internal or external, large-scale or small.

Clients include: adidas, ANZ, First State Super, Freehills, General Mills, Hallmark Cards, IAG, Melbourne Metro, PricewaterhouseCoopers, TAL, Telstra among many, many others.

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Emma Clark


Digital Content Producer at Indigo Content

Emma helps individuals and organisations to educate, promote and advocate by making useful, clear and persuasive content. Specialising in content strategy and production, Emma is passionate about using content for positive change. She draws on over a decade of communications experience, with life-changing organisations spanning research, health, early childhood, education, environment and film. These include The Royal Children’s Hospital, Murdoch Children’s Research Institute, The University of Melbourne, Melbourne International Film Festival and The International Council for Local Environmental Initiatives. Emma loves teaming up with researchers to find meaningful ways to share their ideas, adventures and discoveries with the world.