Research Impact and its implications: finding an approach that works
The introduction of the ‘impact agenda’ in to the UK Higher Education environment in 2010 has simultaneously been derided (by most) and applauded (by some) on the basis of a range of moral, ethical, political and financial considerations. Though impact continues to polarize academics, few would go as far as to contend that we should not do our best to ensure the benefits of research are as widely felt as possible. Based on an analysis of impact submissions made to REF2014, this session will begin with an overview of the implementation of the impact assessment to date, and a consideration of the implications of the recent Stern Review for the future of REF impact. It will go on to discuss a number of strategies that can be used to communicate with a diverse range of audiences and develop impact, and discuss the best ways to evidence it and the numerous purposes it can serve other than research assessment. Throughout we will focus on closing the gap between the real-world impact that most of us would welcome, and impact that will satisfy the conditions of future REF exercises.
Dr Richard A. Keogh is Principal Lecturer and Director of Research Impact and Evaluation at the University of Roehampton. He has, since 2011, worked on the development and delivery of impact. This has included developing institutional and school/faculty strategies, as well as the development and delivery of impact for a wide range of individual projects. He has delivered consultancy services and training sessions on impact to universities across the UK. Richard’s research to date has focused on the intersection of religious identities, social elitism, and politics. In particular, his work has interrogated the little noted phenomenon of Catholic loyalty in Victorian Ireland, and the attitudes of a clique of wealthy Catholics towards the union between Great Britain and Ireland and the monarchy. He has a forthcoming monograph on this topic which will be published in the ‘Reappraisals of Irish History’ series with Liverpool University Press, and articles and chapters in Irish Historical Studies, British Catholic History, and a number of edited collections.