Newsletter Archive

Vertigo Ventures’ Brand Identity Refresh


We are excited to formalise a project we have been working on for several months now! We see this as the next step towards improving all aspects of the business and achieving our company vision. This identity refresh project was also a good opportunity to rethink the way we communicate our brand both internally and to our clients. While we will be rolling out the new brand slowly over the next few months (across our website, software etc.), we wanted to share with you an outline of our thinking, and the new logo.

To see this in action, and for an overview of Vertigo Ventures please download our latest company profile.


Our aim is to become the leading global provider of impact reporting software & services in the academic, corporate and non-profit sectors where impact is key. To do this we will enable impact data identification and recording capabilities within our partner organisations which will allow them to make more informed investment decisions and help them build better business cases.

At the very heart of our beliefs, we place great importance on enabling the measurement of impact and the ability to integrate that information into decision making. We are truly committed to the idea that doing this will have an overall effect on improving the sustainability of our planet.

“Impact reporting for a sustainable world”.


Alongside the brand refresh project we have also refined our brand values. Although we are more than “impact, expertise and partnership”, we believe these are the three pillars of our service offerings and reflect the goals we have as an organisation.


We recognise that your success is dependent on the impact you have. At our core we are passionate about your sustainability and helping you to get the results you need. We lead discussions about impact and help you to embed, track and report it. We are all about making it easier for you.


We have pioneered and innovated with confidence leveraging a decade of practical experience across sectors. We continuously apply this knowledge and experience to bring you a suite of products to support you with impact reporting.


We will partner with you to provide support and encouragement for your impact journey. We recognise that actively listening to what you need, helps us to help you. Ultimately, this will maximize the impact you deliver.


Our existing brand assets are now over 10 years old so we believe it’s time to refresh and refine what we have to improve the way we look, sound and act as a brand. A goal of this undertaking is to more closely align with both the current and future trends but also take advantage of more up to date design technologies. In this we see a great opportunity to improve the aspirational and professional appreciation of our brand across sectors.

To enact this change we have undergone a lengthy and involved process to reaffirm the brand identity assets (logo, colour pallet, approach to copywriting, fonts and visual frameworks) and have updated key collateral to facilitate a consistent transition. As an organisation, transitioning to this refreshed approach is integral to affording us more time to focus our energy on the things that matter: clients, innovation and our company culture.

View the before and after transformation side by side.


As we grow we need to allow space for expanding our product range, and by communicating this in a consistent way with the master brand we will ensure value feeds back to the rest of the organisation, but also avoid any confusion about who supports and powers these products and sub-brands.

The first example is the VV-Impact Tracker logo which utilises the master brand hallmark and an extended colour pallet. The second is VV-Impact Academy which encompasses all our training and consultancy services.

VV-Impact Newsletter Vol. 230

  1. The measurement tail should not be wagging the impact dog. Read more
  2. How to promote your research achievements without being obnoxious? Read more
  3. The SDGs are what the world needs. Will they be what the world gets? Read more
  4. Creating safe, inclusive campuses through collaboration. Read more
  5. RSM and Global Compact NL close alliance to help business impact SDGs. Read more

Try VV-Impact Tracker for FREE

VV-Impact Newsletter Vol. 229

  1. Join the New ‘International Impact Network’ Discussion Forum.  Read More
  2. How can Universities get more activists to take-up their research? Read more
  3. The evaluative inquiry: a new approach to research evaluation. Read more
  4. The biggest impact of university research is on teaching. Read more
  5. Developing a ‘capabilities approach’ for measuring social impact. Read more

Try VV-Impact Tracker for FREE

VV-Impact Newsletter Vol. 228

  1. Register for VV Webinar: How to approach Internal Impact Reviews. Read more
  2. Adviser opportunity at The House of Commons Foreign Affairs Committee. Read more
  3. Greater than the sum of its parts: why the GCRF Interdisciplinary Research Hubs should adopt a programme approach to research design and management. Read more
  4. A more inclusive legal system for Deaf Sign Language users. Read more
  5. LinkedIn for academia. Read more


Try VV-Impact Tracker for FREE

VV-Impact Newsletter Vol. 227

  1. Walking and talking research impact. Read more
  2. The characteristics and reporting quality of research impact case studies: A systematic review. Read more
  3. Policy impact: A ‘How to’ guide for researchers. Read more
  4. Approaches to SDG 17 Partnerships for the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)
  5. Celebrating Impact Prize now open. Read more

Try VV-Impact Tracker for FREE

VV-Impact Newsletter Vol. 226

  1. University Impact Ranking: time to submit your data. Read more
  2. Could it all be much ado about nothing?: A tragicomic perspective on research impact. Read more
  3. Building back trust: Demonstrating research impact. Read more
  4. Research Impact Summit 2018 – Nov. 19th & 20th. Read more
  5. Research impact resources. Read more

Try VV-Impact Tracker for FREE

VV-Impact Newsletter Vol. 225

  1. The REF’s focus on linear and direct impact is problematic and silences certain types of research. Read more
  2. The University College Corks published an economic and societal impact report earlier this year. Read more
  3. The Heriot-Watt University’s British Sign Language team engages with deaf communities and interpreting practitioners about their research. Read more
  4. Winner of Royal Society Prize for changing research culture. Read more
  5. UNAI announces its inaugural class of SDG Hubs: Connecting universities and colleges with the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. Read more



Try VV-Impact Tracker for FREE

VV-Impact Newsletter Vol. 224

  1. Open access book publishing should be community-focused and aim to let diversity thrive, not be driven by a free market paradigm. Read more
  2. Pathways to excellence in public engagement: A noble ‘PEACE prize’. Read more
  3. ‘Are we there yet?’: A multi-method study of the Oxford University Press Pathways to school improvement. Read more
  4. Power to participants: a call for person‐centred HIV prevention services and research. Read more
  5. What metrics matter the most to you? Read more


Try VV-Impact Tracker for FREE

VV-Impact Newsletter Vol. 223

  1. Navigating trade-offs between research, impact, and collaboration. Read more
  2. NCCPE publishes response to REF consultation. Read more
  3. Developing approaches to research impact assessment and evaluation: lessons from a Canadian health research funder. Read more
  4. THE Impact Ranking: Webinar and FAQs updated. Read more
  5. Project COBRA Impact – community participation. Read more


Try VV-Impact Tracker for FREE

VV-Impact Newsletter Vol. 222

  1. VV’s webinar: How universities contribute to the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Read more
  2. Best practices in film research. Read more
  3. Writing for impact. Read more
  4. Craft metrics to value co-production. Read more
  5. Virtual Issue: Measuring the Impact of Arts and Humanities Research in Europe. Read more


Try VV-Impact Tracker for FREE

VV-Impact Newsletter Vol. 221

  1. New open access publication on research impact. Read more
  2. Information systems (IS) research: making an impact in a publish-or-perish world. Read more
  3. Linguistics, language and the impact agenda. Read more
  4. Academics tune in to podcasts to help get their message across. Read more
  5. Video: the role of research universities in creating new impact. Read more


Try VV-Impact Tracker for FREE

VV-Impact Newsletter Vol. 220

  1. New global ranking to evaluate universities’ wider impact on society to be out next year. Read more
  2. Our statement on the recently launched Global University Impact Ranking. Read more
  3. EU to start tracking impact of individual researchers. Read more
  4. Better, fairer, more meaningful research evaluation – in seven hashtags. Read more
  5. Sharing your research with the public can change minds. Read more


Try VV-Impact Tracker for FREE

VV-Impact Newsletter Vol. 219

  1. Riff-ing again on the REF consultation. Read more
  2. THE University Impact Rankings: FAQs. Read more
  3. How can academics engage with SPICe and the Scottish Parliament? Read more
  4. Assessing Health Research and Innovation Impact: Evolution of a Framework and Tools in Alberta, Canada. Read more
  5. We are hiring! – Business Development/Client Relationship Manager (Australia/New Zealand). Read more

Try VV-Impact Tracker for FREE

VV-Impact Newsletter Vol. 218

  1. Press Release: Announcing the launch of the world’s first university impact ranking. Read more
  2. VV’s upcoming webinar: Structuring 4* impact case studies using the storyboard function of VV-Impact Tracker. Read more
  3. Scientific excellence and social relevance are two sides of the same coin. Read more
  4. Low carbon energy and international development: From research impact to policymaking. Read more
  5. Conference: Impact of R&I policy at the crossroads of policy design, implementation and evaluation – November 5&6. Read more

Try VV-Impact Tracker for FREE

VV-Impact Newsletter Vol. 217

  1. Sign up for VV’s webinar on ‘Preparing for Impact in REF2021’ on September 18th. Read more
  2. THE developing new impact ranking for universities based on Sustainable Development Goals. Read more
  3. Bright spots at the interface of science, policy and practice – the case (and need) for optimism. Read more
  4. Great impacts often occur coincidentally during pure research. Read more
  5. Academic research into marketing – many publications, but little impact? Read more

Try VV-Impact Tracker for FREE

VV-Impact Newsletter Vol. 216

  1. Help to shape policy with your science – tips on how scientists can help shape policy and engage with policymakers. Read more
  2. What use is academia for small businesses and community interest companies? Read more
  3. Social impact in social media – a new method to evaluate the social impact of research. Read more
  4. An Impact Strategy Checklist. Read more
  5. Ethical OS Toolkit – a guide to anticipating the future impact of today’s technology. Read more


Try VV-Impact Tracker for FREE

VV-Impact Newsletter Vol. 215

  1. Career advice: How to be an impact manager in REF 2021. Read more
  2. Money-driven assessment a threat to the principle of free knowledge. Read more
  3. Developing a “responsible assessment” system to improve research impact: a case study from Catalonia. Read more
  4. A systematic review of frameworks for the interrelationships of mental health evidence and policy in low- and middle-income countries. Read more
  5. Last chance to apply! – We are hiring a University Relationship Manager, based in London. Read more

Try VV-Impact Tracker for FREE

VV-Impact Newsletter Vol. 214

  1. Despite becoming increasing institutionalised, there remains a lack of discourse about research metrics among much of academia. Read more
  2. Canada: Making an Impact – A shared framework for assessing the impact of health services and policy research on decision-making. Read more
  3. Event: The Next Steps for the Research Excellence Framework on September 27, 2018. Read more
  4. How to work with your institution’s press office to maximize the reach of your work. Read more
  5. Ask the Experts: How to develop high impact content. Read more

Try VV-Impact Tracker for FREE

VV-Impact Newsletter Vol. 213

  1. So you want to make an impact? Some practical suggestions for early-career researchers. Read more
  2. Australian Business Deans Council (ABDC): The Impact of Demonstrating Research Impact. Read more
  3. Understanding academic impact: fear and failure, stealth and seeds. Read more
  4. Canada: How are Educational Researchers Interacting with End-users to Increase Impact? Read more
  5. New vacancy at Vertigo Ventures – University Relationship Manager, based in London. Read more

Try VV-Impact Tracker for FREE

VV-Impact Newsletter Vol. 212

  1. Measuring research impact—all the rage but hard to get right by Richard Smith. Read more
  2. Busting REF myths. Read more
  3. We need our scientists to build models that frame our policies, not to tell stories that shape them. Read more
  4. How academic research is driving innovation and growth. Read more
  5. Moving through uncertainty, toward research for impact. Read more

Try VV-Impact Tracker for FREE

VV-Impact Newsletter Vol. 211

  1. Consultation on the draft panel criteria and working methods for REF 2021. Read more
  2. Four personality traits early-career researchers can foster to help impact policy and practice. Read more
  3. Establishing trust with stakeholders: an integrated process for evidence synthesis and policy development. Read more
  4. Global trade union organisation recognises WISERD’s research impact. Read more
  5. Enhancing Research Impact in Heritage Conservation. Read more

Try VV-Impact Tracker for FREE

VV-Impact Newsletter Vol. 210

  1. Mastering the art of the narrative: using stories to shape public policy. Read more
  2. DFID Research: Strengthening the Use of Evidence for Development Impact. Read more
  3. REF impact and the discipline of politics and international studies. Read more
  4. Building Resilience and Advancing the Profession. Read more
  5. ‘Leaving no one behind’ through enabling climate-resilient economic development in dryland regions. Read more

Try VV-Impact Tracker for FREE

VV-Impact Newsletter Vol. 209

  1. How to engage stakeholders in research: design principles to support improvement. Read more
  2. Steps to a top-scoring impact case study. Read more
  3. The added value of business & management research. Read more
  4. REF impact – a new mode of scholarly distinction? Read more
  5. The Power of Tacit Knowledge: Closing the Gap from Research to Practice. Read more

Try VV-Impact Tracker for FREE

VV-Impact Newsletter Vol. 208

  1. A better measure of research from the global south. Read more
  2. Using virtual reality to learn about the eye. Read more
  3. Making the UK’s research count. Read more
  4. Australia: Sax Institute’s Research Action Awards 2018. Read more
  5. South Africa: Beyond the metrics – why care about how we assess research impact? Read more

Try VV-Impact Tracker for FREE

VV-Impact Newsletter Vol. 207

  1. VV’s Webinar: Structuring 4* Impact Case Studies using the storyboard function of VV-Impact Tracker. Read more
  2. Looking both ways: a review of methods for assessing research impacts on policy and the policy utilisation of research. Read more
  3. The “long tail” of research impact is engendered by innovative dissemination tools and meaningful community engagement. Read more
  4. Case study: Tapping into Indonesia’s high-value horticulture markets. Read more
  5. Real Impact at INORMS 2018.  Read more

Try VV-Impact Tracker for FREE

VV-Impact Newsletter Vol. 206

1. The secrets of successful industry-academic partnerships. Read more
2. Europeana Impact Assessment Playbook. Read more
3. A new funding opportunity from NIHR on key areas where a strategic and targeted investment can result in a transformative impact. Read more
4. A very impact’y INORMS 2018. Read more
5. Speeding up the search for tuberculosis vaccines. Read more

Try VV-Impact Tracker for FREE

VV-Impact Newsletter Vol. 205

1. VV’s Hong Kong Event: Engagement & Impact – Creating 4* RAE Impact Case Studies. Read more
2. INORMS 2018: Not just the guardians of the rubber stamp. Read more
3. Technology Transfer Innovation. Read more
4. An Update on Influencing Policy – Partnerships Move Research into Action.  Read more
5. Institutional Impact Health Workbook. Read more

Try VV-Impact Tracker for FREE

VV-Impact Newsletter Vol. 204

1. How was social media cited in 2014 REF Impact Case Studies?  Read more
2. Europe’s top science funder shows high-risk research pays off. Read more
3. How can researchers capture and show the impact of their research in NHS organisations? Read more
4. The Future of Higher Education Is Social Impact. Read more
5. Making research visible. Read more


Try VV-Impact Tracker for FREE

VV-Impact Newsletter Vol. 203

1. Guidance on testimonials and statements to corroborate impact. Read more
2. Communications monitoring, evaluation and learning toolkit by Overseas Development Institute (ODI). Read more
3. The University of Sydney: Research impact – Budget funds kids’ injury prevention plan. Read more
4. Impact Advice You Need To Know. Read more
5. Research Impact Report from the Teagasc – the Agricultural and Food Development Authority, Ireland. Read more

Try VV-Impact Tracker for FREE

VV-Impact Newsletter Vol. 202

1. How can research impact patients’ health in the “real world”? Read more 
2. Impact of education research on enhancing learning & teaching of STEM. Read more
3. AHRC releases new  communications toolkit designed to help arts and humanities researchers get their research out to a wider audience. Read more
4. The bruising effect of the impact agenda. Read more
5. Register now for the ARMS Asia-Pacific Dialogue 2018 in Singapore. Read more

Try VV-Impact Tracker for FREE

VV-Impact Newsletter Vol. 201

1. International guidelines for an effective process of research impact assessment. Read more
2. ‘How should we balance the research impact ecosystem?’ by Jenny Ames. Read more
3. Guidance on using social media for communicating and disseminating EU funded Research & Innovation projects. Read more
4. Sign up for the ‘Research, impact and the UK Parliament’ event in Birmingham on May 22nd. Read more
5. Last chance to register for VV’s webinar on May 30th: Introduction to impact & live demo of VV-Impact Tracker. Read more

Try VV-Impact Tracker for FREE

VV-Impact Newsletter Vol. 200

1. Webinar on May 30th: Introduction to Impact & live demo of VV-Impact Tracker. Read more
2. Redefining impact in research to help people first, then becoming a journal article. Read more
3. Measuring research impact: a large cancer research funding programme in Australia. Read more
4. How can the impact of broadcast research be determined? Read more
5. Three steps to increase research impact. Read more

Try VV-Impact Tracker for FREE

VV-Impact Newsletter Vol.199

1. Impact and the next Framework Programme for Research & Innovation (FP9) by LERU. Read more
2. Balancing impact in the REF. Read more
3. Affecting decision-makers’ use of research – access, engagement, and impact. Read more
4. Learning from REF2014 Impact Case Studies – Analysis on politics and international studies impact. Read more
5. Call for Abstracts – ARMS Asia-Pacific Dialogue 2018. Read more

Try VV-Impact Tracker for FREE

VV-Impact Newsletter Vol.198

1. Impact is still part of the solution. Read more
2. How do we measure the impact of research? Read more
3. Research matters in policymaking, and the feeling’s mutual. Read more
4. Impacting the ‘real world’ – out of sight for science? Read more
5. The winners of Guardian’s Research Impact awards. Read more


Try VV-Impact Tracker for FREE

VV-Impact Newsletter Vol.197

1. Linear impact narratives encourage easy science. Read more
2. Making a difference in impact – is there life beyond REF? Read more
3. Shaping university research and knowledge exchange. Read more
4. Creativity, risk and the research impact agenda in the United Kingdom. Read more
5. Register now for the INORMS 2018 conference in Edinburgh. Read more


Try VV-Impact Tracker for FREE

VV-Impact Newsletter Vol.196

1. How to request a statement of support for your impact work. Read more
2. Last chance to register for our upcoming webinar on ‘Public engagement as a pathway to impact’. Read more
3. The politics of research impact: academic perceptions of the implications for research funding, motivation and quality. Read more
4. Five principles for holistic science communication to increase the public impact of science. Read more
5. Sign up now for one of the 2018 regional ‘Research, Impact and the UK Parliament’ training workshops. Read more


Try VV-Impact Tracker for FREE

VV-Impact Newsletter Vol.195

1. Upcoming webinar: Public engagement as a pathway to impact. Read more
2. The Overseas Development Institute’s REF impact toolkit. Read more
3. How researchers are ensuring that their work has an impact. Read more
4. Access then impact: using the media as a shortcut to policymakers. Read more
5. The impact agenda and the study of British politics. Read more


Try VV-Impact Tracker for FREE

Public engagement as a pathway to impact

Despite growing interest in public engagement with research, and general acceptance of its importance, relatively little is understood within the sector about how to plan for and evaluate the impact(s) of such wide-ranging activities placed under the broad umbrella of ‘public engagement’. For VV’s next webinar – to be held on 23rd April (Monday) at 1pm – we have invited Paul Manners and Sophie Duncan, Directors of the National Co-ordinating Centre for Public Engagement (NCCPE), to share lessons learnt about assessment of impact(s) arising from public engagement in REF 2014, and, the works currently underway aimed at providing a more robust framework for evaluating impact(s) arising from public engagement for REF2021.

You can sign up for the webinar through this link.



There is a clear desire from the funders – and the wider sector – to see high quality public engagement featuring as a pathway to impact in the REF in 2021.  This was one of the recommendations in the 2016 Stern review:

“Guidance on the REF should make it clear that impact case studies should not be narrowly interpreted, need not solely focus on socioeconomic impacts but should also include impact on government policy, on public engagement and understanding, on cultural life, on academic impacts outside the field, and impacts on teaching.”

The REF consultation in 2017 revealed that:

  • “There was widespread perception that institutions had been cautious in their choice of case studies, submitting those impacts that were easy to evidence or align with the criteria. In particular, this was felt to have affected impact through public engagement and case studies demonstrating cultural or social benefits.
  • A significant number of respondents highlighted the need for clearer guidance on capturing impact arising from public engagement. Overall, respondents were supportive of broadening definitions to be more inclusive of public engagement activity, but there was a lack of clarity about how such impacts would be assessed. A particular concern was raised about providing clarity on the distinction between dissemination and impact. Similar points were made regarding cultural and societal impacts, which were perceived to be challenging to evidence and measure.”

The NCCPE is keen to contribute to the development of criteria and guidance which encourages high quality public engagement with research to feature in the next REF.  Their review of the 2014 case studies revealed that, even with the constraints noted above, nearly half of the case studies featured some aspect to public engagement as one of their routes to impact.  That engagement led to a variety of significant impacts, particularly in stimulating discussion, dialogue and debate that deepened understanding, influenced policy and practice, improved products and services, developed individual’s skills and efficacy and brought new networks into being.

There is no question that assessing the impacts arising from public engagement is challenging, as it is for other forms of ‘stakeholder’ engagement, when the influence exerted by the engagement is often a subtle contribution to complex interpersonal processes like learning and cooperation.  But that shouldn’t deter us from trying, or allow these kinds of impacts to be discounted because they are ‘too hard’ to judge.


Overview of webinar

The 2014 case studies revealed that it is possible to make compelling and robust accounts of impacts arising from public engagement.  There is also a significant body of work, inside and outside higher education, dedicated to planning and evaluating complex interventions and processes of social change which we can draw on to inform the next REF.

The NCCPE is currently developing a framework to inform the guidance for assessing public engagement in REF 2021.  This involves synthesizing the key lessons learned from the last REF, and from the extensive literature about evaluation and ‘what works’ in effective engagement and evaluation processes. A summary of the framework will be shared with webinar participants before the session.

The webinar will explore:

  • Lessons learned about the assessment of impacts arising from public engagement in REF 2014
  • The NCCPE’s draft framework describing the key pathways to impact realised through engaging the public with research
  • How HEIs and researchers can apply this framework to inform their planning for REF 2021

The webinar will also include a Q&A session with our guest presenters.

Who should attend?:

  • REF Managers, Impact Officers, Research Support Officers, and, Public Engagement Professionals
  • Academic Impact Leads, or, Impact Champions
  • Directors of Research seeking to understand and develop impact strategies for their department(s)


Webinar leads

Paul Manners (Director of NCCPE)

Sophie Duncan (Deputy Director of NCCPE)

The webinar will be led by Paul Manners and Sophie Duncan, Directors of NCCPE.

The National Co-ordinating Centre for Public Engagement (NCCPE) is internationally recognised for its work supporting and inspiring universities to engage with the public. It works to change perspectives, promote innovation, and nurture and celebrate excellence. It champions meaningful engagement that makes a real and valued difference to people’s lives.

The NCCPE is supported by the UK Higher Education Councils, Research Councils UK and Wellcome, and has been hosted by the University of Bristol and the University of the West of England since it was established in 2008.

To join us for the webinar please register your interest here: 

VV-Impact Newsletter Vol.194

1. Evolving the ‘Co-Produced Pathway to Impact’. Read more
2. An extended library of 4* Impact Case Studies from REF2014. Read more
3. Report: Socio-economic impact of EPSRC’s investment in research equipment. Read more
4. Blog post on the Association of Medical Research Charities (AMRC) latest Impact Coffee Club meeting. Read more
5. Overcoming the barriers to academic engagement with policy processes. Read more


Try VV-Impact Tracker for FREE

VV-Impact Newsletter Vol.193

1. A brief history of research impact – how has impact assessment evolved in the UK and Australia? Read more
2. How to write a robust claim to research impact. Read more 
3. Global Kids Online’s impact toolkit for multi-country projects. Read more
4. Re-thinking impact, evaluation and accountability in youth work. Read more
5. Applications now open for the NERC Impact Awards. Read more


Try VV-Impact Tracker for FREE

Try VV-Impact Tracker for FREE