Tagged / impact

FHSS – New Impact Champion

I just wanted to take this opportunity to introduce myself as the new Impact Champion for the Faculty of Health and Social Sciences. When I began my research journey several years ago I knew I wanted my research to make a difference. It is this on-going desire to make a difference which led me to pursue this role of Impact Champion.

Part of my role is to take the lead in supporting academics to develop, maintain and ensure that research impact aligns with our core principle of ‘helping to make people’s lives better’. I will also be involved in developing impact case studies, and proactively accelerating impact in relation to REF.

Please don’t hesitate to get in touch if there is anything I can do to support you in your research impact.

Clare Killingback: ckillingback@bournemouth.ac.uk

RCUK launches impact reports

Yesterday, the RCUK launched reports detailing the impacts of a collective investment of £3.4Bn in 2015/16.  These impact reports showcase specific examples of the impact of investment through their various awards, programmes and collaborations. The wide-ranging nature of the impact extends from furthering technological advances to combatting disease to breakthroughs in the creative economy.  Click here for an overview.

Links to Impact Reports are available below:

Impact – in numbers

  • Growth, productivity and job creation
  • 93% of Research Council funded PhD graduates are employed 6 months after graduation
  • 17,435 current doctoral students
  • 57 spin out companies and 182 instances of IP in 2015
  • 30% of academics interact with private business
  • £229M additional funding leveraged from external partners
  • 17% rate of return on public investment in medical research (See MRC impact report)
  • 3202 instances of new collaborations reported in researchfish® in 2015/16 across all Research Councils
  • More than 50% of PhD graduates work outside academia 7-9 years after graduation – CFE Research (2014)

Global impacts

So what?

so whatRKEO have hosted two funder visits in the past three weeks (Interreg and Medical Research Council).  Both funders highlighted the ‘So what?’ principle in terms of research ideas, i.e. what is the consequence of your work; who can benefit from your work in the long-term and what can be done to increase the chances of the work reaching those beneficiaries.  Even if your proposal doesn’t directly address economic or societal impact you should be able to explain the pathway that links your work to – using the example of MRC – improving human health.

In order to describe the impact of your work, keep asking yourself ‘so what?’ or even better, describe your research idea to a colleague (or to take a step further, a member of the public) and get them to ask ‘so what’ at each point when you think you’ve finished explaining. RKEO had another funder visit today, the British Academy, and they used the phrase ‘Try not to be Gollum’, i.e. don’t be precious about your research and invite comments from others, share it and make it interesting.

Being able to fully explain the impact of your research will obviously increase your chances of being successful when applying for external research funds.

impactThere are a vast number of resources available on strengthening your research proposals and developing impact.  Most funders will have guidance on impact, for example, section 2.2.5 of the MRC funder guide provides tips on articulating potential impact.  They may also have impact reports; links to all of the research councils impact reports can be found in the BU research blog’s Research Funder Guide.  BU has an online toolkit to help support the development of your research impact.  The toolkit explores what impact is, how you can go about creating an impact strategy, and looks at some commonly used pathways to impact, as well as examples of outstanding impact case studies.

For more information about impact, please contact the RKEO Knowledge Exchange and Impact Team or if you’re putting an application together and want advice on the impact sections, please contact the RKEO Funding Development Team.

Digital Agenda Impact Awards


The Digital Agenda Impact Awards, celebrating innovations that make a positive impact on the way the UK lives, learns and does business, are open for entries. The awards, sponsored by Nominet Trust, take place at London’s Barbican Centre on Thursday March 2, 2017.

The Impact Awards are open to any business, government or non-profit using digital products or services to make the world a better place. The awards are free to enter and open until January 20 2017.

There are 12 award categories under three broad headings – people, places and business.


  • Education
  • Employment and skills
  • Health
  • Money


  • Cities
  • Climate
  • Food
  • Smart


  • Business transformation
  • Sharing and partnership
  • Social and economic transformation

Click here for more information and to apply.