Understanding impact


What is research impact?

Impact is the demonstrable contribution that research makes to society and the economy—to communities beyond academia.

It must represent an evidenced, measurable effect, change or benefit to:

  • activities, attitudes, awareness, behaviour, capacity, opportunity, performance, policy, practice, process or understanding;

Delivered to:

  • an audience, beneficiary, community, constituency, organisation or individuals in any geographic location (whether locally, regionally, nationally or internationally);

Impact begins with your research and can be developed through engagement with communities of research users, from specialist groups to companies or members of the public.

Fill in our impact planning template (Word document)—it’s a useful guide to help formulate what your research impact journey might look like.

The impact planning template is an ideal starting place to inform more in-depth impact planning sessions, which can be organised by getting in touch with Lewis Thomson, REF Impact Officer.