Panaroma photo of west end of Glasgow


'Research impact' means the difference that our research is making – beyond any academic borders, out in society and in the world we all inhabit. 

The University of Glasgow has over 2,000 active researchers and a long history of achievement in delivering societal and economic impacts. Understanding the potential benefits or change research can deliver happens at the early stage of research design -- how can we contribute to change and what do we need to do to make that happen? 

There is no single way to drive impact; instead there are multiple pathways to research findings being exploited for external benefit and positive change. These can be as straightforward as publishing findings in journals to more complex processes such as co-creation with community partners or starting up a company to commercialise an invention. 

Most often, impacts derive from engagement with external groups, whether from the public, private or third sector. Most of this engagement falls into the category of 'knowledge exchange', which recognises the two-way flow of knowledge, expertise and skills between partners. 

This type of productive, research-based collaboration is a key theme of the University's Research Strategy and lies at the heart of some of our strongest impact narratives. This approach aligns with both our Innovation Strategy and our institutional objectives, which emphasise the importance of working in partnership to address the challenges and needs of global society.   

Glasgow researchers are engaged and working at all scales, from neighbourhoods to nations, with the same degree of commitment. Our research and collaborative engagement has delivered and continues to deliver deeply significant change to communities bound by geography, interests, need, profession or other characteristics. The researchers have transformed debate, policy and practice, driven commercial and technological innovations and shaped new and deeper understanding across a range of fields and at every level— from local (working in communities or regions within a country or countries) to international (spanning multiple nations). We present just a few of our impact stories below. 


Glasgow researchers are encouraged to understand, articulate and plan for the potential impact of their work from its earliest stages, and engagement – consulting, communicating, collaboratingwith those communities who have a stake in trying to change things is at the heart of our impact narratives.

We have a network of impact resource people spanning the Colleges and our central Research Services and Innovation Directorates, working together on all aspects of impact support, funding and recognition. For more information on how we support researchers to understand and drive change from their work, please explore the links on the right.