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Impact Scholarship & Resources

External links and resources.

The views expressed in these articles do not constitute recommendation or endorsement from the University of Warwick.

Academic Scholarship

Evaluating impact from research: A methodological frameworkLink opens in a new window

This paper sets out new definitions for research impact and impact evaluation.

Describes 5 approaches to impact evaluation, design and methods to evidence the impact of research from any discipline.

Useful for: selecting an impact approach for a specific discipline / project

Reed, M. et al (2021) Research Policy Vol 50/4

How do we define the policy impact of public health research? A systematic review

This paper examines 100+ definitions of impact from four areas: contribution, change, avenues and levels of impact.

Proposes a working definition which can be used in health policy.

Useful for: academic study of the impact of research on health policy

Alla, K. et al (2017) Health Research Policy and Systems Vol 15/84

Fear and loathing in the academy? The role of emotion in response to an impact agenda in the UK and Australia

This paper explores academics' responses to the impact agenda (positive and negative).

Useful for: appreciating how academic colleagues perceive Impact (and maybe R&IS by extension!)

Chubb, J. et al. (2017) Higher Education Research and Development Vol 36/3

Exploring research impact models: A systematic scoping review

This paper investigates the nature, objectives, approaches, and other attributes of research impact models. 

It identifies three types of impact model: outcome-based; process-based, and those synthesising both approaches.

Useful for: improving research impact models. 

Razmgir, M. (2021) Research Evaluation Vol 30/4

Gathering evidence of impact from research support services: Examining impact in the context of the Centre for Environmental Data Analysis

This paper explores processes for collecting impact information, noting that evidencing impact imposes burdens on researchers

Useful for: understanding some of the pressures of evidencing impact.

Townsend, P and Wilkinson, C. (2021) Research Evaluation Vol 30/2

How to evaluate ex ante impact of funding proposals? An analysis of reviewers’ comments on impact statements

This paper outlines 3 common processes used by funding bodies when assessing impact statements.

Useful for: understanding what funding bodies look for in impact statements.

Lai, M. et al (2020) Research Evaluation Vol 29/4

Research governance and the future(s) of research assessment Link opens in a new window

This paper explores recent public debates around research assessment and its future as part of a dynamic landscape of governance discourses and practices.

Useful for: understanding tensions around accountability; evaluation; measurement; and identity in research.

Oancea, A. (2019) Humanities and Social Sciences Communications Vol 5/27

From invisibility to impact: Recognising the scientific and societal relevance of interdisciplinary sustainability research

This paper explores the research-policy interface and challenges narrow views of impact.

Useful for: intangible forms of impact e.g. shifts in opinion and practices among policy and civil society actors.

Rau, H. et al (2018) Research Policy Vol 47/1

A synthesis of the frameworks available to guide evaluations of research impact at the interface of environmental science, policy and practice

This paper outlines how differences in evaluation frameworks trace back to assumptions about knowledge. 

Useful for: ‘rules of thumb’ to help guide the selection of an evaluation framework.

Louder, E. et al (2021) Environmental Science and Policy Vol 116

Perceptions, motivations and behaviours towards research impact: a cross-disciplinary perspective

This paper identifies the effect of the impact agenda on academic autonomy, and situates this in different disciplinary contexts.

Useful for: appreciating how academic colleagues perceive Impact (and maybe R&IS by extension!)

Chikoore, L (2016) PhD Thesis, Loughborough University

Is funding related to higher research impact? Exploring its relationship and the mediating role of collaboration in several disciplines

This paper demonstrates that funded research is published in more prestigious journals and that mediators between funding and research impact differ according to the disciplines.

Useful for: understanding links between funded projects and impact

Alvarez-Bornstein, B. and Bordons, M. (2021) Journal of Informetrics Vol 15/1


Research Leaders Impact Toolkit

A suite of research-based tools for developing research strategies.

The resource was devised by Dr Elizabeth Morrow an independent researcher, and made available by Advance HE.

Useful for: different staff groups and stakeholders to coordinate the leadership and management of impact.

Source: Advance HE

The Creative Role of Research

Understanding research impact in the creative and cultural sector

Report from King's College London into the breadth and diversity of ways in which research has flowed into the creative and cultural sector,

Useful for: strengthening creative exchanges and more effectively describe their impact.

Source: King's College London

Making Causal Claims

Briefing paper from the Institutional Learning and Change (ILAC) Initiative.

Argues that most interventions are neither necessary nor sufficient causes of the intended results, but, rather, should be thought of as contributory causes.

Useful for: writing impact evaluations and end of project reports.

Source: Institutional Learning and Change


Toolkit for Evaluating the Outcomes and Impacts of Small/Medium-sized Conservation Projects

Developed by conservation NGOs with input from scientists and practitioners from across the conservation sector.

Useful for: collecting, analysing and interpreting evaluation data.


Fast Track Impact

Comprehensive collection of impact resources, guides, advice and commentary.

Source: Fast Track Impact

Creating Impact From Research

This framework consists of five steps. Each step represents planning and activities that combine to provide a function for developing impact in a structured and consistent way. Questions and tips are provided to help prompt thinking and planning.

Useful for: building a structured plan to create impact.

Source: UCL (authors include Warwick academics from WMG)


Turning findings into policy: six tips for researchers

This article explores these key points:

  • Relationship building
  • Needs assessment
  • Mutual capacity strengthening
  • Communicating to a variety of audiences
  • Researchers as activists  
  • Establishing a rapid response mechanism 

Source: The Conversation

Create infographics for impact

This article explains how to use infographics to show research results. It covers:

  • Extracting a key message
  • Simplifying language
  • Visualising messages
  • Layout
  • Graphics
  • Communication plan
Source: Fast Track Impact

Evidencing Impact from Public Engagement

This article explores ways to plan and capture evidence of impact from public engagement:

  • Evaluating delivery and design
  • Understanding / awareness impacts
  • Attitudinal impacts
  • Behavioural impacts
  • Cultural impacts
  • Capacity or preparedness
Source: Fast Track Impact

Writing newsletters to generate impact

This vlog shows how starting a newsletter might drive more impact than social media:

Source: Fast Track Impact