Category: Impact

Four guiding principles for choosing frameworks and indicators to assess research impact

Selecting a framework for assessing research impact can be difficult, especially for interdisciplinary studies and research in fields that do not have established forms impact assessment. In this post, Elena Louder, Carina Wyborn, Christopher Cvitanovic, Angela T. Bednarek, outline four principles for researchers designing impact assessment criteria for their work and suggest how a closer … Continued

Book Review: Good Economics for Hard Times: Better Answers to Our Biggest Problems by Abhijit V. Banerjee and Esther Duflo

In Good Economics for Hard Times: Better Answers to Our Biggest Problems, Nobel-Prize winning economists Abhijit V. Banerjee and Esther Duflo carefully lay out evidence to provide a grounded approach to tackling today’s most pressing global problems. With a focus on alleviating inequality and poverty, Banerjee and Duflo’s book clears a path for more interdisciplinary work centred on improving citizens’ … Continued

The relevance of political science and the public responsibility of political scientists

Political scientists face increasing demands to demonstrate the relevance of their research beyond the academy (the so-called ‘impact agenda’). Matthew Flinders argues that this should be seen less a threat to the discipline’s autonomy than an opportunity to rise to public responsibilities that have always accompanied a political science career. The ‘noble science of politics’ has … Continued

Book Review: Mass Appeal: Communicating Policy Ideas in Multiple Media by Justin Gest

In Mass Appeal: Communicating Policy Ideas in Multiple Media, Justin Gest offers a guide for researchers who want to improve their ability to make a policy impact with their research, exploring the strengths and weaknesses of different media for communicating research ideas and their implications. This book is likely to be useful for researchers across the career spectrum, from … Continued

Works of fiction? Impact statements should focus on pathways to impact over short-term outcomes

As a precondition to receiving research funds, many research funders require applicants to state how their project will ultimately achieve impacts prior to any work being undertaken. Reflecting on a study of these impact statements made to the Science Foundation Ireland Investigators Programme, Lai Ma, argues that such statements often introduce a narrow short-term bias … Continued

The impacts agenda is an autonomous push for opening up and democratizing academia, not part of a neo-liberal hegemony

Improving academic impact has been given a bad name in some academic circles, who link it to a near-conspiracy theory view of the powers of ‘neo-liberalism’. But Patrick Dunleavy and Jane Tinkler argue that (despite one or two bureaucratic distortions, like the REF), the impacts agenda is centrally about enhancing the efficacy of scientific and … Continued

Should supervisors be training PhD students to achieve impact?

In addition to thesis writing, PhD candidates in SHAPE subjects are expected to be able to communicate their research to diverse audiences and also be prepared for careers outside of Higher Education. Should PhD supervision cover these areas, or does impact training sit more naturally elsewhere in the university ecosystem? In this post, Katherine Parker-Hay, … Continued

Common policy problems and what researchers can do about them

Impacting policy is difficult, not only because of the challenges translating research into policy-speak but also because of challenges inherent in the policymaking process itself. These include: the siloed nature of working, the lack of focus on prevention and imperatives for ministers to pursue short-term solutions. In this post, Raj Patel outlines these problems and … Continued

In the current climate, Rapid Ethnographic Assessments are the research method we need

This is the third post in a six-week series: Rapid or Rushed? exploring rapid response publishing in covid times. As part of the series, there will be a virtual roundtable on Friday 6th November, 1.30pm featuring Professor Joshua Gans (Economics in the Age of COVID-19, MIT Press and Richard Horton (The COVID-19 Catastrophe, Polity Press … Continued