As part of LSE Research Festival Exhibition 2015 the School’s Research Division will be hosting a special exhibit about the LSE Research Impact website. Visitors will have a chance to explore the new site and discover the full range of LSE’s world-leading social science research. We asked Jo Hemmings, Research Policy Manager for Research Division, to tell us something about the site and how members of the public can get the most out of using it.

What were the reasons for producing the LSE Research Impact website?

The website arose out of the 66 impact case studies that LSE submitted to the 2014 Research Excellence Framework (REF). We wanted to create a public space to showcase the extraordinary range of research going on at the School and how that research has had impact in the ‘real world’. So the website aims to show how LSE research has influenced or brought about changes that matter to individuals, groups, communities, institutions, countries and globally in the last few years. Although the REF impact case studies are only a snapshot of some of the research impacts which took place between 2008 and 2013, I think they’re very impressive.

LSE Research Impact

The LSE Research Impact website displaying an Impact Case Study by Sir John Hills


How can members of the public best make use of the website?

We wanted to create an innovative, creative and contemporary new section of the LSE website which would enable users to easily find, browse and understand the impacts which have arisen from LSE research.  You can browse and search the case studies in lot of ways: you may have heard a particular LSE academic’s name mentioned in the press, or want to know how LSE has changed the debate on issues such as climate change, social inequality or healthcare provision – the Research Impact website is a great place to find out more. You can also search by the geographic region in which the impacts occurred, the types of impact, who funded the research or by the sectors which benefited from the research. Many of the case studies also have videos attached to them, so that you can get a real sense of how LSE research is making a difference in an easily accessible way: just look for the ‘play’ arrow on some of the pages.

Can you tell us something about the Research Impact special exhibit at LSE Research Festival Exhibition 2015?

We will have a stand with laptops that visitors can use to explore the website and watch the videos. LSE staff who are involved in helping our academics achieve impact from their research will also be on hand to help and answer questions. Look out for the Research Impact banner at the exhibition.

How do you plan to build on the success of the website in the future?

The Research Impact website isn’t static. Having launched it in December last year, we are now adding more case studies at a rate of around two a month. We will also be adding new videos, and are promoting the website via social media to encourage both new users and repeat visits. The longer-term goal is to encourage potential research funders, donors and collaborators to make contact with individual academics, departments, centres or central School resources to explore ways of supporting research at the School.

The LSE Research Impact special exhibit forms part of a wider exhibition of posters, photographs and films, showcased on the lower ground floor of the New Academic Building on 21 May 2015. For more information on the exhibition, visit the LSE Research Festival website.

The LSE Research Impact website is online at lse.ac.uk/researchImpact.