There is a growing body of opinion that holds that researchers have a responsibility to articulate the impact of their research to non-academic audiences. Indeed, the way in which research funding is allocated now increasingly reflects researchers’ ability to generate and demonstrate impact.
A renewed emphasis on the importance of both planning and evidencing research impact requires researchers to develop increasingly robust and integrated ‘pathways to impact’ (as illustrated by Research Councils UK) within research funding bids in order to identify and reward the contribution that high-quality research will make to the economy or to society.
In the current research funding climate there is also an urgent need for HEIs to generate income streams from sources other than the Higher Education Funding Councils. Now more than ever HEIs are seeking to raise their profiles and develop relationships with industry, policymakers and other stakeholders in a bid to identify new sources of revenue and facilitate knowledge exchange.
Generating impact, and consequently ensuring that a full range of stakeholders will benefit from the research, is therefore integral to Salford’s research strategy and feeds into its single strategic priority around the Industry Collaboration Zones (ICZs).
The recent announcement by HEFCE that Impact will have a 25% weighting in the forthcoming REF2021 exercise (compared with its 20% weighting in REF2014) serves to further reinforce the importance and relevance of the research impact agenda to HEIs today and in the future.
Research Impact Fund
To support researchers at Salford in becoming more ‘impactful’, the University operates an internal Research Impact Fund.
This offers small grants of up to £1000 (match-funded by School/Research Centre) to individuals and groups in support of activities that:
- reflect the University’s desire to increase the impact and reach of its research
- highlight strategic engagement that builds upon the University’s vision to pioneer ‘exceptional industry partnerships’
The Fund is currently open for new applications, with a deadline of Friday, 19th January 2018 for the latest round. Further details and the application form can be found here: https://teamsite.salford.ac.uk/sites/sc02/REF2021/SitePages/Impact%20Funding.aspx
If you would like to find out more about the Research Impact Fund, or impact in general, please contact Emma Sutton, Interim Impact, Engagement and Environment Coordinator on firstname.lastname@example.org
Alternatively, please visit the Impact pages on our REF intranet site for further details on impact resources, funding opportunities and upcoming training events: https://teamsite.salford.ac.uk/sites/sc02/REF2021/SitePages/Impact.aspx