Planning for impact – advice for researchers
Our research impact is the demonstrable contribution that our work makes to society – to individuals, communities, organisations, nations and the economy.
Engaging with research users and identifying potential impacts from the outset will help you to plan processes by which your research may directly or indirectly catalyse change. Planning includes considering the kinds of impact you are hoping to achieve; that is, what might change, for whom, to what extent, and when.
The NIHR have produced a comprehensive toolkit which can help you to plan for impact at the start of a research project – which will help you to outline how you will engage with research users to deliver impact from your research.
NIHR also has developed an interactive dashboard that summarises and signposts to a range of tools and other practical resources available to support research impact planning, delivery and assessment. Access the Impact Toolkit on NIHR Open Learn.
Plus – some key toolkits available to help you devise an engagement and impact plan include:
- The Canadian Knowledge Mobilisation toolkit – This site has many tools to help researchers plan, carry out and evaluate knowledge mobilisation activities.
- The ESRC impact toolkit – Although for social science research, this site is very good on how to collaborate and influence policymakers. 50 case studies are available.
- The Health Foundation communication toolkit – Excellent resource for understanding communications strategies in general, and the communications strategy template is particularly good.
- The Fast Track toolkit – Includes lots of templates, podcasts, blogs and tools for a variety of impact-related activities.
- Impact Literacy toolkit – Focuses on the first step as identifying the problem in collaboration with research users.
If you have any questions around impact or implementation relating to your ARC research project, please contact ARC NENC Implementation Lead, Prof Paula Whitty – firstname.lastname@example.org