Category: research impact

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

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 can anthropological research impact the populations it studies? Six steps for creating inclusivity and accessibility with ethnographic monographs

The ethnographic monograph is the primary medium for communicating anthropological research. However, they have traditionally only been read mainly by anthropologists in metropolitan universities. Professor Daniel Miller highlights the problem for anthropologists who want their research to have an impact that contributes directly to education benefitting the populations being studied. Drawing on the experience of … Continued

10 Ways scientists can better engage with decision makers

The figure of the decision maker is often invoked as a key conduit for academic research to be transformed into social impact. Drawing on work undertaken for their recently published book chapter (with Dr Megan Evans), David Rose and Rebecca Jarvis distill findings from a review of how academics have engaged with decision makers in the … Continued

Generating impact in the absence of government: Northern Ireland’s unlevel playing field

Impact assessment regimes are largely a-spatial, in that they assume that the academics they assess have equal access and opportunities to influence at different scales, local, regional, national, international etc, regardless of where they are located. Taking the example of Northern Ireland, Dr Vanessa Gstrein and Maria Prince explore how the lack of a functioning … Continued

Learning from Blue Ocean Strategy – How do concepts become reality?

The term impact ultimately signifies the process by which an abstract idea for good or ill becomes a practical reality. Whilst good ideas are often believed to find their own audience, Guillaume Carton argues that for research and ideas to achieve impact they require mobilization. Taking the example of a concept from management studies, Blue … Continued

Co-producing knowledge with social movements, a critical perspective

For academic researchers working with social movements and activist groups can present unique challenges. Finding ways to work effectively together, whilst acknowledging differences in power and objectives, is often problematic. Drawing on perspectives from different social movements and academia, Diana Mitlin, Jhono Bennett, Philipp Horn, Sophie King, Jack Makau and George Masimba Nyama present insights … Continued

Impact ‘agenda’ or impact ‘phantom’? 

Responding to an emerging debate around the changing nature of the impact agenda in the UK, Richard Watermeyer, argues that the current moment presents a point of change; an opportunity to exorcise the ghosts of previous regimes of incentivising and assessing impact, and step towards a more meaningful social compact.  Jude Fransman’s excellent piece in THE deliberating the consequences of plans by UKRI to abandon pathway-to-impact statements (PIS) as formal aspects of research funding applications, has pushed much of my … Continued

The civil service doesn’t just need more scientists – it needs a decision-making revolution

In the UK, the election of a new government has seen a renewed focus on research policy and the use of evidence in policymaking. In this repost, David Rose, Mark Burgman and William Sutherland, draw on their experiecnces of working within different government departments, to consider how evidence is currently used by the civil service and to set out an … Continued