The uncertainties of the research world have only been exacerbated by the coronavirus pandemic. However, there has also never been a more important time for research organisations to demonstrate how their research can improve health, living, working, and environmental conditions for society. With the end of the current REF-cycle now in sight – and with the grant system now also becoming clearer after the removal of pathways to impact – Universities and research organisations have the opportunity to maintain and improve their focus on research impact. To be truly effective, impact must become embedded in an institution’s research culture. A well-developed and successfully implemented institutional research impact strategy can help support this.

Goal

This project will give University executives, research managers, and impact leads the tools, permission, and confidence they need to create meaningful and effective impact strategies for their organisations.

Approach

We will conduct a comparative analysis of impact strategies by engaging with stakeholders to collect a variety of current examples, generating together assessment criteria with stakeholders and based on relevant literature, and thematically analysing strategies in relation to assessment criteria to produce a typology of impact strategies. Each type of strategy will be characterised with an assessment of pros and cons, the contexts and purposes for which it is typically used, and examples of good practice to illustrate each type of strategy. This will lead to the production of impact strategy development guidance with an accompanying database of publicly-available strategies (for which permission has been granted to publish), which will be shared with stakeholders. 

Timing (2020/21)

  • July/Aug – Publicise the project to the sector and ask for participants, collect examples from other sources
  • Sept/Oct – Analysis
  • Oct/Nov – Write up
  • Nov/Jan – Presentations and communication

Outputs

  • A pre-publication presentation/discussion session with all participants
  • A peer-reviewed practice paper
  • Several blogs on single author and shared sites
  • Further presentations/training sessions

The Institutional Research Impact Strategies Analysis Project is a collaboration between Fast Track Impact and Insights for Impact.

For further information contact saskia@insightsforimpact.co.uk

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