Now that the time for generating impact is drawing to a close (cut-off for impact generation for inclusion in case studies is 31 July 2020), focus should be turning towards the collection and collation of evidence to corroborate the impacts being claimed.
One main source of impact evidence that many of our case study leads will be using is testimonial evidence.
Below is an example of best practice in how to obtain a testimonial:
- Maintain ongoing informal discussions with your testimonial contacts so that they are primed for your request
- Decide which form of testimonial would work best with your chosen contact: this could be a video testimonial, a written testimonial or an interview, which is then written up into a testimonial
- The ‘interview’ process could unfold as follows:
- Case study lead reflecting on what contact and others had said (this may take a few months of iterative refinement of bullet points)
- Case study lead turning the bullet points into questions
- Case study lead then ordering the questions to be logical to be used in an interview with the contact
- Case study lead obtaining formal permission to conduct an interview for a testimonial to be developed which would ultimately be used in REF submission and appear on our web-page for impact
- Case study lead conducting the interview either face-to-face, via Skype or phone and recording it
- Case study lead transcribing the interview and extracting ‘the important stuff’ into a basic narrative
- Case study lead sharing the basic narrative with School Impact Lead/University’s Impact Coordinator for constructive feedback in order to create the first draft of the testimonial
- Case study lead sharing the draft testimonial with colleagues to provide critical feedback and then re-editing where necessary
- Case study lead sending the testimonial to their contact, suggesting that they edit to what they are happy with and then signs off (on letter-headed paper)
This process can take some time, so this must be factored in when requesting testimonials.