Supporting your research Impact
Find out what resources, support and tools are available to help you with identifying and evidencing the impact of your research.
If you are a researcher at the University of Bath, you can access and use a number of resources to support you with your research impact.
Understanding and achieving impact from our research is becoming increasingly important. The impact of our research influences funding decisions and our performance in research assessment exercises.
Two key definitions of research impact are:
'the demonstrable contribution that excellent research makes to society and the economy', RCUK.
'an effect on, change or benefit to the economy, society, culture, public policy or services, health, the environment or quality of life, beyond academia', Higher Education Funding Council for England.
Achieving impact is an integral part of the University’s research culture. A key objective of the University's research strategy is: 'optimising the intellectual, scientific, economic, social and cultural impacts of our research'.
As a researcher you will need to think about impact throughout the research life cycle and beyond. For example, you may be in the process of:
- developing your research and needing to identify and engage your stakeholders, or write your impact summary and pathways to impact
- undertaking your research and wanting to build in mechanisms to capture evidence of impact
- completing your research and developing an impact case study
At the University of Bath you will be supported to identify, plan for and evidence the impact of your research.
Use our research impact toolkit
RIS has developed a toolkit, in conjunction with other professional services and academics, to help you plan for impact.
Using the toolkit can help you to think through:
- what problem or need your research is trying to address
- what changes you hope that your research will bring about, and how these could be achieved
- how and when to engage and involve the right people and organisations in your research
- how to plan for, evidence and achieve impact from your research
Get to know your faculty and departmental impact leads
Each faculty and department has an identified lead for research impact. At a faculty level this is your Associate Dean for Research.
Your impact lead can help you with all aspects of impact; from identifying possible routes to impact through to evidencing your impact. They can also signpost you to other University resources to help you with your impact questions.
Get to know your research impact team
A great place to start with your research impact question is with the research impact team, based in Research and Innovation Services (RIS).
They will be able to help answer your question and signpost you to the right people to help address your specific need(s). They work closely with others across the University who are involved in supporting you with Impact. This includes the research grant development managers, the research marketing and press office, the public engagement unit, as well as your faculty and departmental impact leaders.
Involve non-academic stakeholders in your research
As a researcher there are many benefits to involving and engaging your non-academic stakeholders early in your research. This includes enhancing the impact of your research through the sharing of knowledge and experience. Further information.
There are people at the University who can help you to identify, engage and involve stakeholders. This includes industry, business, public, private and community sectors, and the general public.
Embed impact into your research applications
If you are developing a research grant application you will need a clear view of what the potential research impact might be and how this might be achieved. RIS, working with other professional services, have developed a number of ways they can help you. This is from providing advice and support, training, writing retreats to developing toolkits.
A good place to start is by contacting one of the Research Innovation Services teams:
- the Research Grant Development team can help you with your impact summaries and pathways to impact, as part of your funding applications
- the Research Impact and Commercialisation team can help you to build impact into your innovate UK funding proposals
- the Pre-award and Contracts team can help you to cost your impact related activities
Evidence your impact
The Research Information and Intelligence team in RIS are available to support you with identifying, evidencing and communicating your impact. They work closely with your faculty and departmental leads for impact; to develop and provide processes, resources and tools to help you. This includes recording your impact activities and evidence of impact on PURE, to the development of your Impact Case Studies for the Research Excellence Framework (REF) assessment.
For support on loading your evidence of impact onto PURE see our PURE User Guide.
If you think you have a possible impact case study, contact us on firstname.lastname@example.org.