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.
- 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
Excellent job thanks. Really honestly the best review of a grant I have ever had. I didn’t incorporate all of your suggestions but a large part has been included.
The 2020 NHMRC Investigator Grant Workshop series was EXCELLENT! Each workshop was packed full of important and useful information that helped me write my grant. Tamika and Cathy are amazing teachers and very knowledgeable in the field of research impact. I also had a one-on-one full grant consultation, which I would highly recommend to get detailed effective and interactive feedback.
We found the ‘in-person’ meeting the most valuable aspect of our service with the Research Impact Academy. Articulating impact is one of the hardest things to do in grant applications. Through a stimulating discussion, RIA were able to coach us through exactly what impact our project would have, and how to incorporate this into our application early and often. We had previously been unable to articulate this so clearly. Our interaction with RIA improved our grant considerably, however I learnt many skills in generic grant writing that I will be able to apply for future applications and that I can share with my research students.
Tamika developed an Info Brief for our Center. The disability researchers we serve will have an easy to read, as well as evidence-based, resource to improve their stakeholder engagement. Our Center too will improve its practices around engagement because of Tamika’s insights. Ultimately, when our Center and the researchers we serve use the guidance in the Info Brief, we will build the right solutions to the most pressing problems in the disability community.
I was really happy with the comments on my grant and the zoom recording. Both were really useful while I was re-editing and re-editing and re-editing…
I honestly don’t think I would have been funded if it wasn’t for your guidance in the impact sections
Thanks again for all your help with the NHMRC Investigator Grant application. I honestly don’t think I would have been funded if it wasn’t for your guidance in the impact sections.
Hopefully this will be a springboard for future funding applications, and whenever there is a need to highlight impact/pathways to impact, I’ll be sure to have you involved!
Just briefly I thought the process was great – the combination of the written feedback, zoom call and video recording was excellent. I liked that some additional written feedback was added to the documents during the meeting. In terms of the feedback itself, I thought it was very useful and am confident we now have a stronger application as a result.
Well worth the time. Shows how important it is to take a step back and reflect on impact before the end of a project
RIA presented key elements of the research impact journey in a clear and understandable manner. I would recommend this course to anyone who is involved in writing research grants or summarising their research impact
This is a very insightful workshop. It provided guidance on how I should structure the important 3 pages of my Ideas grant application
You need to clone yourselves – we need more of you. Your knowledge and experiences that you shared, particularly the examples given, are invaluable to researchers who are trying to write these grants, especially for the first time.
Thank you Tamika for facilitating such a wonderful workshop that gave practical and insightful tips and tools for creating, capturing and communicating research impact. Your experience and knowledge of NHMRC applications and beyond enabled our researchers to apply what they learned to their own field of work.
As a PhD student, I really benefited from this workshop. The RIA has enhanced my long-term vision and helped me consider the ways that I create, capture and communicate my impact. I would recommend their workshops to all researchers.