Category: Impact

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

The rush to research COVID-19 risks compromising research integrity and impact

This is the first post in a six-week series: Rapid or Rushed? exploring rapid response publishing in covid times. Much academic research is currently characterised by a rush to capture the effects of COVID-19. However, impact in the social sciences depends on researchers taking the time to look after themselves, exchange knowledge with others – … Continued

Evidence-based policy and other myths. What researchers need to know to influence government.

Research has an important role to play in the creation of good policy. However, academics often struggle to communicate their research in a language that politicians understand. Naomi Eisenstadt CB draws on over thirty years of experience at senior levels of government and policy, to outline what researchers need to know to influence government and three … Continued

How to tell an impact story? The building blocks you need

At a loss for how to demonstrate impact? Laura Meagher and David Edwards outline a dynamic understanding of impact evaluation comprised of ‘building blocks’. These building blocks are five types of impacts; five broad categories of stakeholders; and eight causal factors, along with a set of over-arching reflective questions.   The increasing pressure placed upon … Continued

The role of the research assessment in strengthening research and health systems

Research Impact Assessments are regularly regarded as a tiresome part of the research process. However, Annette Boaz and Stephen Hanney find that taking a systems approach to health research demonstrates the value of assessing impact. Drawing on examples from a new review for the WHO Health Evidence Network, they highlight the role that impact assessments … Continued