Archives for posts with tag: impact

This is a guest post from Ellen Buckley, Billy Bryan and Duncan Gillespie, members of the Medicine, Dentistry and Health’s Research in Policy Group

At the recent Medical School Research Meeting, Dr Duncan Gillespie (MDH RSA, Research and Policy group) sat down with Rt Hon Sir Kevin Barron (Labour MP for Rother Valley) to talk about the importance of research on changing legislation. His diverse parliamentary experience includes chairing the Health Select Committee that brought through the 2005/6 ban of smoking in public places and held evidentiary hearings for minimum unit pricing of alcohol in 2010. More recently, Sir Kevin has been Chair of the All-Party Group on Pharmacy, protecting the availability of community pharmacies and protesting against pharmacy cuts by presenting a petition to Number 10, Downing Street, which had 2.2 million signatures. Read the rest of this entry »

Guest post by Ellen Buckley, Research Technician and PhD Staff Candidate, Department of Neuroscience and member of the Medicine, Dentistry and Health’s Research in Policy Group.

sciencepolicy

What is the current role of researchers in policy-making and how might or should this change in the future?

What are the routes to how research becomes incorporated into policy?

Why does policy not always reflect research evidence?

What are the range of policy careers available within universities, Government, NGOs and charities?

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Impact, Impact everywhere but not a drop to drink.

Is impact an important part of the modern research landscape?

Yes, because achieving impact beyond academia is an important outcome of research and increasingly a formal requirement. It was part of the last REF (20% of the overall result) and research funders want to know how your work will be impactful.

No, because ‘Impact’ is not a modern phenomenon, academics/researchers have always made an impact, it is and always has been part of the job. Most of the best researchers are motivated by a greater purpose than just career progression and it is integral to their teaching. Whether it is through commercialisation of a new widget or process, developing treatments, informing policy, leading teaching practice, training future researchers or non-academic communication and outreach, there are many possible routes for research Impact to be realised.

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PEYou wouldn’t think six letters could cause such confusion or in some cases, panic! As part of the Think Ahead team, my role enables me to be in a variety of settings both with researchers and professional services colleagues and frequently we end up talking about ‘impact’. The trouble is, it means different things to different people. When faced with that reality, in my opinion there’s only one answer – Dictionary.com:

  1. the striking of one thing against another; forceful contact; collision
  2. an impinging
  3. influence; effect
  4. an impacting; forcible impinging
  5. the force exerted by a new idea, concept, technology, or ideology

I don’t know about you but I’m not necessarily any the wiser. The best way I can think to express it, is that an ‘impact’ can be most thoroughly viewed as something that causes change (positive or negative). Simplistic perhaps but sometimes that is the easiest way to start. Upon reflection, I began to wonder if this conundrum is one being faced by our researchers across the university?

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