Posts tagged: impact

Making an impact in grant applications

When you have applied for research funding in the past, for example through a Research Council, you will probably have been asked to consider the impact of your research by completing an impact summary and also a more detailed pathways to impact document. This provides information on the actions that will be taken to increase the chances of your research findings reaching key beneficiaries.

However, this is all about to change with a recent announcement by UK Research and Innovation that as from 1 March 2020 all applicants to UKRI – including the Research Councils – will no longer be required to provide either a pathways to impact plan or an impact summary. read more


Research Impact Fund – Special Call

To support researchers at Salford in becoming more ‘impactful’, the University operates an internal Research Impact Fund, which offers:

up to £1000 that must be match-funded by your 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, and/or highlight strategic engagement that builds upon the University’s vision to pioneer ‘exceptional industry partnerships’.

Applications should be aligned to one or more of the following themes: read more


ESRC Festival of Social Science – November 2019

The University of Salford, alongside partner institutions Manchester Metropolitan University and the University of Manchester, are running around 35 events across Manchester and Salford as part of this year’s ESRC Festival of Social Science, which runs from 2-9 November 2019.

The Festival showcases Manchester social science research to a broad non-academic audience. This brings together an eclectic blend of activities designed to celebrate the social sciences, including discussions and debates, exhibitions, film screenings, walkabouts, family fun days, schools visits, workshops, and lots more. read more


Impact Action Plan Update

Following the successful implementation of the Impact Case Study Action Plans with our identified REF impact case study leads during 2018/19, this process will be continued and expanded in the new academic year 2019/20.

The aim of these Plans is to set a number of SMART objectives to guide our case study leads through the development and refinement of their case studies during the final year of the cycle ahead of REF submission in November 2020.

In addition to this, the Impact, Engagement and Environment Coordinator (Emma Sutton) will be working with the School Impact Coordinators to put in place more generic Impact Action Plans with the wider research community to kick-start the process of embedding impact as part of everyday research activity. read more


Refining your impact case studies

Our potential case study leads for REF2021 have recently submitted the second draft of their impact case studies, which will be assessed as part of an internal peer review process in April. Twenty of these will then also be selected for external peer review in June.

At this stage in the process, feedback from colleagues can be key in ensuring that the case studies reach their full potential. Following the internal and external peer reviews we will have just over a year to generate some more impact, collect impact evidence and refine the narrative further before the REF submission deadline. read more


2019 preparations and ‘REF readiness’

With Christmas fast approaching, here in the REF team we are already turning our attention to 2019 and considering how our REF readiness activities will start to take shape. In terms of our preparations around impact, the new year will herald a raft of targeted activities to help ensure that our case study submission in 2020 is the strongest it can possibly be.

Key deadlines

A few key dates in 2019 for our impact case study leads to bear in mind are as follows:

  • 28 February 2019 – Submission of revised impact case study drafts (using new REF2021 template)
  • February/March 2019 – Impact Action Plan mid-point review meetings
  • March 2019 – Recording of short impact videos (via Marketing & External Relations)
  • 8 April 2019 – Chris Simms informal peer review workshop
  • April 2019 – Planned formal internal peer review of impact case studies
  • June 2019 – Planned formal external peer review of impact case studies
  • read more


    Impact Guidance for REF2021

    The initial set of guidance materials for REF2021 (including guidance on submissions and panel guidelines) was published in July 2018 and consultation with the sector was concluded on 15th October 2018.

    The final guidance is due to be published in January 2019, after which time the University will hold a series of briefing meetings through our appointed Unit of Assessment Leads to update colleagues on the key details.

    In the meantime, the salient points to take from the latest REF consultation documents on impact case study submission is as follows:

     

    Definition of impact for the REF

    For the purposes of the REF, impact is defined as an effect on, change or benefit to the economy, society, culture, public policy or services, health, the environment or quality of life, beyond academia.

    Impact includes, but is not limited to, an effect on, change or benefit to:

    • the activity, attitude, awareness, behaviour, capacity, opportunity, performance, policy, practice, process or understanding
    • of an audience, beneficiary, community, constituency, organisation or individuals
    • in any geographic location whether locally, regionally, nationally or internationally

    Impact also includes the reduction or prevention of harm, risk, cost or other negative effects.

    Impacts will be assessed in terms of their ‘reach and significance’ regardless of the geographic location in which they occurred, whether locally, regionally, nationally or internationally.

    **Further guidance about how panels will assess the case studies against the criteria of reach and significance is found separately at www.salford.ac.uk/ref under Impact Evidence Collection.**

     

    Submission requirements

    • Each submission must include impact case studies (REF3 template) describing specific impacts that have occurred during the assessment period (1 August 2013 to 31 July 2020) that were underpinned by excellent research undertaken in the submitted unit. The impacts may have been at any stage of development or maturity during this period, so long as some effect, change or benefit meeting the definition of impact took place during that period.

     

    • This may include, for example, impacts at an early stage, or impacts that may have started prior to 1 August 2013 but continued into the period 1 August 2013 to 31 July 2020. Case studies will be assessed in terms of the reach and significance of the impact that occurred only during the period 1 August 2013 to 31 July 2020, and not in terms of any impact prior to this period or potential future or anticipated impact after this period.

     

    • The underpinning research must have been produced by the submitting HEI during the period 1 January 2000 to 31 December 2020. Underpinning research may be a body of work produced over a number of years or may be the output(s) of a particular project. It may be produced by one or more individuals.

     

    When writing case studies, submitting units should refer to the guidelines for presenting quantitative data set out in the ‘Guidelines for standardising quantitative indicators of impact within REF case studies’. These guidelines have been developed to enable more consistent presentation of quantitative evidence in case studies. This document (and a summary thereof) can be found separately at www.salford.ac.uk/ref under Impact Evidence Collection. read more


    Impact Case Study Action Plans

    As part of the REF readiness exercise in preparation for our REF submission in 2020, the Impact, Engagement and Environment Coordinator, in conjunction with the School Impact Coordinators, is holding a series of ‘Impact Case Study Action Plan’ meetings with identified case study leads.

    Initial meetings have already started to take place and will continue throughout September and October. These will be followed up by mid-point review and year-end review meetings.

    The aim of these meetings is to set a number of SMART objectives to guide our case study leads through the development of their case studies across the next two years in preparation for the final REF submission.

     

     

    Key areas of focus include:

    • Creation of an ‘impact’ folder within Figshare in order to deposit all impact evidence collected to date and to maintain on an ongoing basis
    • Identification of research outputs to be included as ‘underpinning research’ for the impacts claimed in the case study
  • Completion of a stakeholder analysis to identify who has benefitted so far from the research, who to contact for testimonials, who to target to generate future impact and so on
  • Redrafting of impact case study information to date to reflect development of objectives and to shape the final submission
  • read more


    Impact Case Study Examples

    The University of Salford’s REF intranet site (www.salford.ac.uk/ref) has recently been updated to include some of the annotated case study drafts from the recent external peer review exercise.

    The insightful comments from the peer reviewers will be used to help shape further case study drafts and also to help inform the forthcoming internal peer review process.

    Examples can be found under the Impact section: External Peer Review

     

    Some general points noted by the external peer reviewers include:

  • A number of case studies don’t distinguish between research and resulting impact, instead flagging impacts that appear to be benefits to the academy rather than societal impacts, so some further advice on that distinction might be useful
  • read more


    Impact at the Festival of Research

    Salford is holding its inaugural Festival of Research this year between 25th June and 20th July 2018 across the campus.

    The aim of the Festival is to showcase and celebrate Salford’s diverse research and its impact to a wider audience and will encourage both researchers and the general public to become involved.

    In the week of 2nd-6th July there will be a concentration of physical events and conferences taking place, including the Salford Postgraduate Annual Researcher Conference (SPARC), which is a two-day PGR-focused showcase event.

    Running alongside the Festival will be ‘Storytelling at Salford’: this is a larger project which forms part of the research training strategy and which is also linked to the University’s new research strategy. It involves the Salford Research community (PGRs, Academics and Leaders) recording short videos about what they do at Salford. The first 20 videos will be showcased as part of the festival and during the festival we will encourage more to participate and create videos themselves.

     

     

    Targeted Impact Events

    As part of the Festival we will be running a number of specifically impact-related events to help inspire our researchers to think more closely about the impact of their research and how they can best improve its significance and reach in the future.

     

    Highlights include:

    Wednesday, 27 June 2018: Fast Track Impact case study writing workshop with Prof Mark Reed read more