Welcome to Research Impact: Creating Meaning and Value. This programme will provide a broad introduction to impact, providing all researchers with the essential knowledge and skills they need to ensure that impact is embedded in every step of the research journey.
If this is the first time you have accessed the Research Impact: Creating Meaning and Value programme, or if you need a brief reminder, here is some information on how the screens are organised, and some of the tools and features that are used throughout:
We aim to make our courses as accessible as possible. However, in case you find any of our interactive activities difficult to operate via mouse, keyboard or any other means, we provide a 'text only version' for every screen, which will present the content in a simplified, text-based format. This includes transcripts for video and audio files, increased font sizes for greater readability.
Look out for the descriptionText/print version button, located at the top right of any screen in the course, to toggle this feature.
You may also use this feature to activate a print-friendly version of any screen, in case you would like to print and keep the content for your notes.
Throughout this programme, you will find additional learning opportunities in 'pods'. Exploring the information provided in the pods will enrich the learning experience. The pods in this programme contain extra content to expand or emphasise key points from the main screen, as well as links to useful external resources:
The In context screen is designed to allow you to apply the concepts you've learned in the module or to recapitulate your journey through the module – these might be using realistic set of circumstances, case studies, or scenarios.
At the very end of each module, you have the opportunity to test your learning further with a multiple-choice quiz. The quiz for this module consists of twelve questions, and can be taken more than once.
This programme is designed to gradually build up your understanding and skills. We recommend that you complete the modules in the order given, but they have been designed so you can access each of them independently according to your own requirements and those of your institution.
Throughout this programme we have used the term 'stakeholders'. You may be aware that there are currently some discussions around the use of the word 'stakeholder' and its suitability for use in research. It has been noted that in some contexts the term can hold negative meanings. For example, it may be considered to be an offensive word rooted in colonialism, whereby colonialists would stake out and lay claim to indigenous lands.
With this in mind, we would like to define how we are using the term and what it means when we use the word 'stakeholder'.
In Research Impact: Creating Meaning and Value, we define the word 'stakeholder' in the following way:
A stakeholder is a person, group, or organisation that has an interest, concern, or stake in a project, organisation, or decision-making process. Stakeholders can be internal or external to the organisation or project and can be affected by its actions, objectives, or policies. They may also have the ability to influence the outcome or success of the project or organisation.
Examples of stakeholders include employees, customers, suppliers, investors, government agencies, and local communities. This is by no means an exhaustive list. It is important to consider the needs and expectations of various stakeholders when making decisions, as their support and involvement can impact the success of the project.
We considered replacing the term 'stakeholders' throughout this programme, but ultimately agreed that there is currently no suitable alternative for all scenarios where the term might be used.
Some alternatives that might be considered are:
For this programme, it's important for clarity that we use one term, which is why none of these alternatives would work. However, we encourage you to engage with the debate around the word 'stakeholders' and consider what you think are the best terms to describe your specific stakeholders in the real projects you undertake. This is likely to be the term they prefer being known by, not one you give them.
As the debate continues, we will continue to review the use of this word.
Dr Eric A. Jensen is the Brinson Foundation Civic Science Fellow at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Associate Professor of Sociology at the University of Warwick and co-founder of the Institute for Methods Innovation (methodsinnovation.org). Jensen is an impact evaluation expert, with a PhD from the University of Cambridge in sociology and 20+ years of professional experience. His qualitative, quantitative and mixed methods evaluations and research projects have had a wide range of funders, including UK Research and Innovation (UKRI), National Science Foundation, Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, Disney Conservation Fund and the German government. Dr Jensen is the author of Doing Real Research: A Practical Guide to Social Research (SAGE) and Science Communication: An Introduction. He has an extensive publication profile featuring 120+ journal articles, books, book chapters and official reports, including numerous influential policy reports for government and non-profit organisations such as UNESCO, Science Foundation Ireland, the European Space Agency, the Australian Research Data Commons and the European Commission. His articles have been published in leading scientific journals, including Nature, Science, PNAS, PLoS ONE and Public Understanding of Science.
Lali van Zuydam is a research and communications associate with the Institute for Methods Innovation where she works on large-scale European Commission research projects as well as impact evaluation and survey research training for participants all over the world. She holds a Master's degree in science journalism from Stellenbosch University in South Africa and is currently enrolled for her PhD in science and technology studies at the same institution.
Ged Hall has worked for 20 years at senior levels in the higher education sector in the UK. For the last decade this has focused on research impact, including organisational development projects (reporting to the university executive level) and professional development for individual researchers and groups at all career stages. He is co-author of the University of Leeds' Engaged for Impact Strategy and is heavily involved in its implementation across the institution. He previously managed researcher development for the University of Nottingham's postgraduate researchers and research staff. This included setting up academic provision in international markets such as Malaysia and China. He has directed multi-partner, multi-million-pound programmes in learning and teaching. Ged also has a PhD in physical chemistry.
Tamika Heiden is the Principal of the Research Impact Academy. She has more than a decade of experience as a researcher and research manager in the fields of health, sport, and medicine. She has a certification in knowledge translation from the University of Toronto and the International School on Research Impact. Tamika is an honorary research fellow at the Murdoch Children's Research Institute, an adjunct research fellow at the University of Western Australia, and sits on the scientific committee for the Medical Research Foundation at Royal Perth Hospital.
Tamika won the 2018 award for excellence in knowledge translation from the SickKids Learning Institute in Toronto and the award for innovation from the Institute for Knowledge Mobilization. She has given evidence to the Senate committee inquiry for the Medical Research Future Fund. She has presented at conferences and symposiums, run workshops, been published in numerous journals, and been involved in developing knowledge translation strategies.
Kirsty Allen was the University of Oxford's lead advisor on the university's submission to the Research Excellence Framework 2021, with responsibility for its delivery. She has over 13 years' experience in a range of research management roles, including as the Hub Manager for the EPSRC-funded UK Quantum Computing Hub, and is currently the Programme Manager for the Global Pathogen Analysis System within the Nuffield Department of Medicine.
Dawn Duke is a researcher development professional with 15 years' experience in designing, delivering and strategically leading professional and career development programmes for early-career researchers, as well as research supervisors in the UK, Europe, and Africa. Dawn is dedicated to enabling the next generation of researchers to take on the challenge of utilising their talent to address the complex problems facing our world today and in the future.
Saskia Gent is Director of Insights for Impact: a consultancy offering research impact support to universities in the UK and overseas. Saskia launched Insights for Impact after more than 10 years of working with universities in the UK, Europe, and in the developing world. The consultancy helps institutions, researchers, and projects optimise their understanding of (and strategies for) research impact. Saskia provides strategic support and training, as well as mentoring and coaching.
Wade Kelly is Director of Research Excellence and Impact at Monash University. Wade works at the nexus of engagement and impact, providing strategic advice to university leadership, faculties, and institutes to embed impact into university culture. He is a well-respected speaker and commentator on impact in higher education.
Mark Reed is a Professor and Centre Co-Director at Scotland's Rural College, Visiting Professor at Newcastle University, University of Leeds, and Birmingham City University, and CEO of Fast Track Impact. He is a recognised international expert in research impact with over 200 publications that have been cited over 30,000 times. He has won research impact awards and delivered impact training for more than 10,000 researchers from over 200 organisations in more than 50 countries around the world.
Felecia Watkin Lui is an Indigenous Australian (Torres Strait Islander) researcher and Associate Professor of Indigenous Studies at James Cook University. Her work focuses on research impact and sustainability, with an emphasis on codesign and engagement with Indigenous communities. She is a Chief Investigator (CI) on the Australian Research Council Centre of Excellence for Indigenous and Environmental Histories and Futures; and a CI on the National Health and Medical Research Council National Network for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Researchers.
Wilma Alexander is a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy with Master's degrees in human–computer interaction, linguistics and information science. She has over 15 years of experience as a manager with the online learning team at the University of Edinburgh, where she specialised in usable and accessible digital practice, tutored on the groundbreaking Master's degree in digital education and developed online staff training on accessible e-learning and online tutoring skills. Since retiring from the university at the end of 2015, Wilma has provided consultancy services on all aspects of online learning, with a special focus on accessibility and usability issues.
Research Impact: Creating Meaning and Value was developed in conjunction with:
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