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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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What people are saying about our workshops & training…

I feel able to apply all that I have learned

This course increased my understanding of how to consider impact in research design and provided practical tools to support that process. I feel able to apply all that I have learned into research planning and demosntrate more clearly how my projects create impact.

Sarah McCarthy
University of Surrey

This workshop provided me the opportunity to learn how to effectively communicate my research

This training is grounded in good theory and evidenced recommendations about research impact. I highly recommend this training for those who think they may need clear and specific guidance on how to effectively demonstrate the significance and reach of their research, and those who need someone to walk them through step-by-step on how to plan for demonstrable impact.

Elizabeth Cook
Edith Cowan University

Thank you for providing a practical, timely workshop to support my impact evidence gathering

Thank you for providing a practical, timely workshop to support my impact evidence gathering. I will use the resources provided to demonstrate my research impact on complex social problems. I particularly appreciated the breaking down of different types of impact, from policy impact examples, to health, economic, environmental and social cultural.

Stephanie Godrich
Edith Cowan University