The easiest definition of 'research impact' is 'making a difference', this has always been a part of our mission as an institution. The inclusion of research impact as an element in funding decisions and assessments of excellence at both institutional and individual levels means that we need to embed awareness and understanding, and best practice, into our research culture and activity across all disciplines. We do this in a number of ways:
- Guidance and resources webpages contains useful tools and tips on planning your impact, using social media to promote your research, collecting research impact evidence and more.
- We deliver the impact-related modules in the University's Researcher Development Programme, covering a general introduction to impact (how to interrogate your research and articulate an impact strategy), an introduction to knowledge exchange and public engagement, and College-specific modules to help with the challenges of Fellowship and grant applications and Pathways to Impact.
- We deliver presentations to units, centres, institutes and other groups on 'Top Tips for Research & Impact', aimed at communicating key insights and immediate actions that can be of immediate benefit to individual researchers. These are normally organised by your unit's central administrator, so check with them first to see if this has taken place. To arrange a Top Tips roadshow, contact Jess McDonald in the Research & Innovation Office.
- We offer events throughout the year that address various aspects of knowledge exchange and research impact; all staff are welcome and we try to shape the content around the feedback and suggestions received from attendees at previous events. Alongside the annual KE and Impact Conference (upcoming October 2016), there have been lunchtime sessions on engaging with industry; building your academic digital profile; impacts in the policy arena, etc. All the slides from these events are available on our Moodle site: Knowledge Exchange & Impact: Information & Resources. Log in with your GUID; the site is open to all.
- Our Research Impact Manager (Rose-Marie Barbeau) works with the impact managers in the Colleges to provide advice on impact plans, bids for KE Fund or Impact Acceleration Account support, public engagement evaluation for impact purposes, and other issues related to impact planning. Centre College contacts are as follows: Science & Engineering (Lynne McCorriston; David Nisbet); MVLS (Jonathan Scott); Arts (Fraser Rowan); Social Sciences (Kyle Taggart).
- We also work closely with the REF Impact Officers from each College: Science & Engineering (Elaine Hunter); MVLS (Jim Caryl); Arts (Helen Green); Social Sciences (Lewis Thomson), preparing impact case studies as part of the University's submission to REF2021.
- The University has an internal investment fund aimed at supporting impact generation. The Glasgow Knowledge Exchange (KE) Fund (2015-18) accepts applications from all disciplines on a rolling basis throughout the year. Additionally, we hold a number of impact acceleration funds (ESRC, EPSRC, BBSRC, STFC etc). As with the KE Fund, the applications should be underpinned by UofG research, and should focus on collaborative working with external partners, proof-of-concept work, or any targeted activity that supports the exploitation and application of research expertise and findings in the non-academic arena. More information on funds and application support is available here.
- Working in collaboration with the Research Data Management team in the Library, we have developed an extension to the Enlighten database which allows you to store information and documentation (not visible to the public) of your KE activity and potential impacts in the same way that other outputs of your research are stored. Being able to store information on your externally-facing activity, and any documentation and/or links which provide information about the activity and/or potential impacts helps you to build your impact profile for professional development purposes, and may be useful in future should you require information for a REF impact case study. Information on the repository is available here.