Gary Fairclough has been an Impact Officer at the University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) since December 2017, working as part of an impact team across the institution.
In general we can say that research impact is the demonstrable change or benefits to the wider society, economy or the environment that arises through research.
Impact can take many different forms. At the simplest level, these impact types can cover social, environmental and economic issues.
The recent Research Excellence Framework (REF) exercise in the UK exposed many challenges inherent in responding to national assessments.
A record 1,240 universities took part in this year’s Impact Rankings; a 30% jump from last year.
“The aim is that ImpactTracker will help colleagues to further integrate planning and evidencing impact into their day-to-day activities. The increasing focus within the system on the UN Sustainable Development Goals will also assist us in further developing our impact strategy.”
At its heart, research impact refers to the significance and reach of research, especially beyond academia. This can amount to cultural, economic, environmental and social impact.
One way to respond to criticism is to create a new form of transparency – one that clearly displays the real-world impact of research and scientific work while allowing stronger collaboration between global researchers to meet shared objectives.
Having impact as part of an assessment process changes the approach institutions might take towards impact.
JOIN OUR MAILING LIST
and keep up-to-date with everything impact related.