Research impact is included as a form of assessment on funding applications and as a standard of research excellence at both an institutional and an individual level. Discover a range of courses and resources below to enhance your research impact knowledge and understanding.

For more information and key contacts, please visit our Social Sciences Impact page.

Writing a Grant with Impact

In many grant applications, they will ask you to consider the impact of your research. View the resources below to learn how to plan for and articulate the impact of your research.


REF Impact

The Research Excellence Framework is the UK’s system for assessing the quality of research in UK higher education institutions. It first took place in 2014, and then again in 2021. There are three areas that are assessed: the quality of outputs, their impact beyond academia, and the environment that supports research. Below you can find further resources on what REF is and examples of impactful research.


  • REF2021 - the REF2021 website contains useful information about what REF is, its background and how it is governed.
  • REF2014 Impact Case Studies - search a database of impact case studies submittied in REF2014 and filter by areas such as research subject, institution and more.
  • REF2021: Examples of impacts and indicators - the REF2021 guidance includes a helpful table of a wide range of impacts with the corresponding types of evidence to support those impact claims.

Writing for a Non-Academic Audience

View our resources below to develop your writing skills and ensure your research is accessible and easy to understand to non-academic audiences.


  • NCCPE: How to write for non-specialist audiences - this guide outlines how to engage your audience, the writing process and more.
  • The Conversation - The Conversation is an independent source of news and views, sourced from the academic and research community and delivered direct to the public. Browsing their articles in your research area can give you a good sense on how to write for a non-academic audience.

Policy Impact

View the resources below for support on achieving policy impact, understanding stakeholders, and writing a policy brief or for an evidence session.


  • Policy Scotland - Policy Scotland have an informative policy impact resources page with useful links and information for topics such as 'Connecting with Policymakers' and 'Policy engagement and how to write a policy brief'.

Understanding the UK and Scottish Parliament

View our resources below to understand how the UK and Scottish Parliaments work and how to best engage with them.


  • SULSA: Engaging with Parliament - this comprehensive guide outlines the difference between Holyrood and Westminister, how the Scottish and UK parliaments work, as well as the best ways to engage with them.
  • UK Parliament - the UK Parliament have a series of informative online training videos, covering topics such as how to engage with the UK parliament by your career stage.
  • UKRI: How to influence policymakers - UKRI's guide to influencing policymakers includes an informative section on how the UK Parliament works.

Creativity in communicating your Impact

Finding new and creative ways to communicate and disseminate your research can be a great way to increase its impact. View our resources below for inspiration and guidance.


Logic Planning for Impact