If you are looking to generate impact from your research, please ensure that you engage from the start with the University Impact, Engagement and Environment Coordinator, Emma Sutton, and your School Impact Coordinator** so that the impact can be tracked and evidenced on an ongoing basis.
Key points to consider when you start a new research project:
- What will be the indicators of impact? How will success be measured throughout and what needs to be captured?
- Complete a stakeholder analysis to identify the potential beneficiaries of your work
- Clearly demonstrate a pathway to impact: what steps will you take to engage with your stakeholders and how will you measure any benefits to them?
- Articulate the significance and reach of the potential impact
- Use existing and well-understood baselines and gold standards to measure your impact
Some examples of types of impact evidence that you could obtain:
- Testimonials from organisations and individuals
- Quotations from high-profile figures (obtained through interviews)
- Participant feedback
- Media mentions
- Quantitative data (e.g. improved company sales, percentages demonstrating cost savings etc.)
- Published reports as a result of research conducted
- Guidelines/policy documents that cite your research
**Look to use both qualitative and quantitative data where possible!**
Points to remember:
o Ensure that information is robust and credible
o Ensure that information is independently verifiable
o Link evidence to clear targets and indicate whether these were met or exceeded
o Provide evidence of research being widely disseminated, e.g. through tweets, blogs, access to websites, press coverage, broadcastings, downloads, sales
o Find ways of communicating the research as it progresses to develop wider impact along the way (not just at the end)
o Conduct exit interviews with the business if ending relationship/researcher if leaving institution – evidence of impact must be captured before departure
o Be able to demonstrate that without the research, the impact would not have occurred: how has the research made the difference?
Remember: the earlier you begin collecting and collating your impact evidence, the easier it will be to create your own impact case study!
Further information on impact evidence collection can be found on the REF intranet at: www.salford.ac.uk/ref
**School Impact Coordinators are as follows: CSE – Prof Apostolos Antonacopoulos ELS – Prof Mike Wood / Prof Andy Miah H&S – Prof Neal Hazel Institute for Dementia – Dr Gemma Lace-Costigan SAM – Dr Pal Vik SBS – Prof Phil Scarf SOBE – Prof Peter Walker