Impact Training

Being able to plan, articulate, and report impact is important for institutional reputation as well as individual researcher profiles. Through our workshops we aim to help academics and universities more effectively engage end users throughout the research process and maximise the societal, economic and environmental impact of their research.

Vertigo Ventures has been providing impact training to leading research institutions globally since 2010. We believe in enabling robust impact planning and reporting through comprehensive and bespoke training workshops for research office members, researchers/academics, impact champions and senior management.

Our trainings are designed to provide universities with the expertise and understanding to identify and embed impact across the institution and all disciplines, and, best prepare Impact Case Study submissions for exercises such as the REF in UK, EI in Australia, and RAE in Hong Kong.

The workshops cover:

  • An introduction to research impact for researchers and research support teams
  • The latest guidance from funders
  • How to plan for, evidence and maximise impact
  • Impact Case Studies planning and development
  • Practical steps researchers can take to create opportunities for impact
  • Building capacity in research support teams and Impact Champions to help embed impact across disciplines
  • Strategic workshops for senior management to embed an impact culture throughout the organisation

Impact Planning for Academics (Course ID: E03)

This training workshop is a half day session for academics who have research projects that could be having impact and will help them to identify key stakeholders for their projects, what types of impact could potentially arise, what evidence they would require and how to articulate their work in terms of impact.

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Developing and Embedding an Impact Strategy (Course ID: I04)

This half day session is aimed at supporting those who are interested or involved in developing and implementing impact strategies at research institutions. The session will help participants understand what makes a robust departmental or institutional research impact strategy, and, gain confidence in the role they could have in developing one.

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Developing Strong Impact Themes for your Impact Case Studies (Course ID: I01b)

The morning session will provide the attendees with a clear understanding of what impact is, why it is important and the key principles behind a 4* impact case study. Here attendees will break out into small groups to assess a mixture of REF 2014 impact case studies. In the afternoon, 3-4 academics will have the opportunity to discuss a specific research project of theirs in a ‘safe space’ during their 1-2-1 with the trainer. The trainer will help the attendee develop their project’s Impact Map, identifying who their stakeholders are, what activities have taken place and what outcomes have been achieved/will likely be achieved.

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Reviewing & Developing Impact Case Studies (Course ID: A01)

The trainer will first review the first draft of 10-15 impact case studies submitted to the university at least 2 weeks ahead of time, to assess their current REF, RAE or EI readiness in terms of structure, evidencing and presentation, and determine key actions for improvement. Attendees will then have the opportunity to discuss their impact case study in a ‘safe space’ during their 1-2-1 session with the trainer. Here the trainer will develop with the attendee their action plans to improve their draft impact case studies. Together the attendee and the trainer will identify the key headlines for their impact case study, evidence requirements and next steps by the end of the session.

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Introduction to Impact and getting started with VV-Impact Tracker (Course ID: E01)

This half day session is intended for new VV-Impact Tracker users. It will provide attendees an initial overview of what impact is, why it is important and the key principles behind a 4* impact case study. This will be followed by a walk through of the VV-Impact Tracker software by our trainer, before attendees get to login, create their own research projects on VV-Impact Tracker and test its wide range of easy to use functionalities for themselves.

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VV-Impact Tracker Refresher Course (Course ID: E05)

These two hour sessions provide a quick overview of what impact is, why it is important and the key principles behind a 4* impact case study. It then provides a quick refresher of the VV-Impact Tracker software and while attendees get to start creating their research projects in VV-Impact Tracker. The focus is to create at least one storyboard on VV-Impact Tracker per attendee.

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Developing Strong Impact Themes for your Impact Case Studies (Course ID: I01a; only for VV-Impact Tracker users)

This is a full day practical workshop intended to help academics develop distinct impact themes for their case studies and populate the storyboards on VV-Impact Tracker. Attendees will first have the opportunity to discuss their research project in a ‘safe space’ during a 1-2-1 session with the trainer. Here the trainer will help the attendee develop Impact maps, breaking down who their stakeholders are, what activities have taken place and identifying what outcomes have been achieved for their projects. Working with the trainer the attendee will start creating their storyboards on VV-Impact Tracker, based on key impact themes identified during the session. In the second part of the session attendees come together to use their individual Impact maps to draft their impact case study narratives in VV-Impact Tracker.

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Mock Panel interviews (Course ID: I03; only for VV-Impact Tracker users)

Within a Faculty/Department academics with potential impact case studies are invited to do a 10 minute presentation of their work (through VV-Impact Tracker) to a small review panel. This is then followed by a short Q&A session to try and further determine how robust and at what stage the impact and evidence is currently at, and, what else could be done to maximise ‘reach’ and ‘significance’. From here each attendee identifies key actions to improve their impact case studies going forward (ahead of any internal Mock REF Panel Review).

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Mock REF Panel Reviews (Course ID: I05; only for VV-Impact Tracker clients)

This is an internal university-wide review of impact case studies per the Main Panel that they are likely to be submitted to. A prerequisite is that all potential impact case studies to be reviewed must be first be fully drafted in VV-Impact Tracker by a submission date (usually at least one week before the review). On the day itself, the trainer will deliver an overview of what impact is and what makes a 4* impact case study so that attendees all have a consistent understanding. The trainer will also help the Research Office prepare the scoring matrix based on development potential and likely ratings and define the next actions required to develop the impact potential further. Panel/Impact Leads from each area, provide their summary commentary for discussion. Notes are taken during the meeting and distributed to the impact case study authors afterwards for learning and execution.

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