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Understand imapct

Understanding research impact

What is research impact?

Research impact has many definitions. Broadly, it is all the diverse ways that research benefits individuals, organisations and nations through increasing effectiveness of public services and policy, improving quality of life and health, or economic benefits. As with translation, many terms are being used to refer to the concept of research impact. These include research ‘benefit’, ‘payback’, ‘translation’, ‘transfer’, ‘uptake’ and ‘utilisation’. 

It is necessary and important to define research impact. We must distinguish between ‘academic impact’, considered to be the research knowledge contribution to a field of study within academia, and ‘non-academic impact’, impacts that go beyond academia. 

Research impact is the contribution that research makes to the economy, society, environment or culture, beyond the contribution to academic research. (Australian Research Council)

Impact is a complicated and messy topic. Despite this, research funders and research organisations globally are looking to measure impact . These impacts are not easily quantified. There can be considerable time lags between research and impact. Impact is often from accumulated knowledge and not a specific research finding.

The measurement and assessment of impact of the research endeavour have become more and more important. Researchers are increasingly expected to show value for money from their research and funders are keen to show the benefits or research spending.

The introduction of research impact assessment is being used as a proxy for the value of our research and the benefit of that spending to society.

If you would like to get a handle on non-academic impacts this workshop is for you.

Workshop outcomes:

  • Understand the definitions and terminology around non-academic impacts.
  • Learn about the different categories of impact and how to achieve them in the different fields of research.
  • Know the pathway to create impact and the elements of successful impact.
  • Understand impact activities and how they relate to the impact types.
  • Learn about impact indicators and the evidence required to support impact claims.

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