Engaging in public discussion is a crucial aspect of academia. At the same time, female academics often encounter sexist abuse as a result of such engagement. Heather Savigny draws on interview data to argue that while women may seek to actively build impact and public engagement in to their research agendas, the site of interaction between media and academia is gendered […]
Following the Brexit vote and US presidential elections in 2016, it has frequently been argued that the current period is defined by a lack of trust in experts and expertise. But is there any empirical evidence to confirm or deny this assertion? In this post Kate Dommett and Warren Pearce analyse the available data on public perceptions of expertise and […]
A critical blind spot in the impact agenda has been that impact is understood and defined solely in positive terms. In this post Gemma Derrick and Paul Benneworth introduce the concept of ‘Grimpact’, to describe instances where research negatively impacts society, and argue that the implicit optimism of research assessment has rendered researchers and science systems poorly equipped to […]
The UK research system has historically been innovative in its approach to measuring and assessing the impacts of academic research. However, the recent development of the Knowledge Exchange Framework (KEF), has elicited scepticism as to how this framework will significantly differ from the impact element of the Research Excellence Framework (REF). In this post Hamish McAlpine and Steven […]
The impact agenda is an international and evolutionary phenomenon that has undergone numerous iterations. Discussing the development and recent release of the results of the Australian Engagement and Impact Assessment (EIA), Ksenia Sawczak considers the effectiveness of this latest exercise in impact assessment, finding it to provide an inadequate account of the impact of Australian research and ultimately a shaky […]
Societal impact has become the hallmark of high quality research, as is reflected in the decision to make impact worth 25% of REF 2021 assessments and the introduction of Research Missions into the Horizon Europe framework. However, the ability to produce societal impacts is often linked to career stage and job stability. Reporting on a survey of Early Career […]
The internet has had a double impact on scholarly communication in the global south, making it easier for these countries to access research and also making research published in these countries more accessible. In this post Dr Haseeb Irfanullah discusses how Bangladesh has adapted to this new scholarly communication system and highlights the need for strong research infrastructures and […]
Altmetrics have become an increasingly ubiquitous part of scholarly communication, although the value they indicate is contested. In this post, Lutz Bornmann and Robin Haunschild present evidence from their recent study examining the relationship of peer review, altmetrics, and bibliometric analyses with societal and academic impact. Drawing on evidence from REF2014 submissions, they argue altmetrics may provide evidence for […]
What do you do with research that produces potentially harmful results? In this post Andrew Crane, explores how research can produce negative as well as positive impacts on society and discusses how his own research group has approached dealing with the complex issue of ‘negative impact’.
“If you put these things in your report it will kill our industry”. The […]
Some PhD students and early career academics feel that the demands placed on them are so intense that they can never devote time to ‘secondary’ activities. Research comes first and last, and the doctorate ‘grind’ is something that has to be ‘got out of the way’ before they can focus on anything else. In contrast, Hayley Teasdale argues that […]
Third mission accomplished? Why are universities bad at engaging with local and regional government and what we can do about it.
Universities are increasingly called upon to engage with local and regional government, namely as part of a ‘third academic mission’, but how effectively do they incentivize academics to do so? Using evidence from her study of the University of Aveiro, Liliana Fonseca explores the barriers that hinder engagement with these institutions and makes recommendations for how universities could expand […]
A vital part of any research assessment program is the ability to clearly demonstrate the impacts, whatever they may, of the research undertaken. In this post, Katy McEwan presents the impact chain approach for writing impact case studies. A method, which provides a framework for producing impact narratives and helps authors clearly describe and spotlight the consequences, intended and […]
Ahead of the Game – How impact is an additional hurdle for scholars from widening countries to receiving EU funding.
The next round of the EU’s research and innovation funding program, Horizon Europe, will include a requirement to develop a mission statement outlining how the research will achieve societal impact. In this post Stefan de Jong and Reetta Muhonen explore how regional variations across Europe in the understanding of research impact are likely to impact the opportunities of researchers […]
Citizens of Somewhere: What is the effect of the international profile of UK academia on national and international pathways to impact?
In this post Cornelia Lawson, Ammon Salter, Alan Hughes, and Michael Kitson explore how international academics working in the UK higher education system contribute to impacts made inside and outside of the UK. Drawing on a survey of 18,000 academics, they note that whilst international academics contribute more to impacts outside of the UK than their UK counterparts, they […]
Invisible impact and insecure academics: structural barriers to engagement and why we should do it anyway
Participatory Action Research (PAR) is a form of research that involves prolonged and deep engagement with local communities and can produce profound social impacts. In this post, Dr Katrina Raynor describes how current approaches to impact assessment and the structure of the academic labour market impede researchers from engaging with PAR and raise particular challenges for insecurely employed early […]
Alex Rushforth and Adam Kamenetzky report on the international symposium, ‘In the Trenches: Research Translation for Health Impact’, outlining how the concept of research impact has developed in health research, they highlight three key areas of interest; complexity, community and continuity and suggest that to advance, health impact research needs to adopt a more reflexive critical approach to value.
Mark Reed presents 6 key points from the REF2021 guidelines and outlines how they change the current working understanding of impact in the UK.
The final guidance for REF2021 was released this week. Most of the guidance on impact is consistent with what I expected from the consultation. For the full guidance on the submission of impact case studies to […]
Drawing on case study evidence from the DFID-ESRC Growth Research Programme, Louise Shaxson suggests that developing a culture of engagement and collaboration is just as important to achieving research impact as following best practice, and presents five principles that underpin an effective research impact culture.
There’s no better way to occupy yourself over lunch at your desk on a rainy day […]
How to design an award-winning conference poster
A good academic conference poster serves a dual purpose: it is both an effective networking tool and a means by which to articulately communicate your research. But many academics fail to produce a truly visually arresting conference poster and so opportunities to garner interest and make connections are lost. Tullio Rossi offers guidance on how to […]