I'm trying to only send updates when there's enough useful material to share with you, but there seems to be a lot of useful stuff worth sharing at the moment!

Impact tips
  • My latest blog is about how to get longitudinal impact data with a postcard to your future self. This is a method I've been itching to try out for a long time now, and although it is usually used in exhibitions, public lectures and other forms of public engagement, I'm adapting it for use in a policy seminar next month. I'll update the blog with photos and reflections on how it goes after the event!
  • I've also blogged about how to get commercially sensitive data to evidence economic impacts from research. This is a massive problem for many researchers I work with, who know that their research has underpinned the development of massive products or services, but they are unable to evidence anything because the companies that have commercialised their work are not willing to share the data they need
  • This week's podcast contains a wealth of practical advice on "co-producing" research with the people who will benefit, with Karen Laing from Newcastle University. Karen has been studying co-production manuals and is developing her own guide for researchers who want to work more closely with their publics and stakeholders to co-produce research and impact.
  • It has been a year now since I published The Productive Researcher and I've had the pleasure of training hundreds of researchers based on the lessons from the book since it came out. The great thing about this is the questions I get from people that force me to go deeper in my own thinking, and so a couple of weeks ago I recorded a podcast episode sharing all the key lessons from the book as well as the key insights I've learned as I've tried to answer your questions and adapt the lessons to the various challenges you have thrown at me during trainings
  • A couple of weeks ago, I came across a really useful source of methods for engaging publics and stakeholders - see what you think
  • Inspire yourself with these short prize winning case studies from University College Dublin (where I was training last month) 
  • Last week's podcast was from the Royal Society in London where we won a prize for changing research culture in collaboration with new start-up Univate who are developing a new Tinder-like platform to enable researchers to build collaborations with professionals to generate impact. We'll be integrating Fast Track Impact resources and a free training module to the platform. Read more about the award on the Fast Track Impact blog and the Univate blog
  • Australian colleagues: I've added a small number of new training dates to my visit in August 2019. Get in touch with Madie if you are interested (first come first served). Find out more here

REF news
  • Has the bar been raised for REF2021? Should we be worried about grade inflation or quotas on top-scoring case studies? I put these questions to Steven Hill, Director of Research Policy at Research England, and the answers were fascinating. Essential reading for anyone concerned with REF strategy...
  • I've been playing around with our sample of 175 case studies that represent some of the highest and lowest scorers across all Main Panels, with a focus on policy case studies today. High scoring policy case studies were much more likely to cite impacts from both policy and the implementation of those policies, compared to low-scoring cases that were more likely to cite only policy changes. 
  • I came across an interesting precedent in the REF2014 database earlier this week. University of Bristol took a risk and submitted a public engagement case study on Conker Tree Science despite the fact that it was not underpinned by any research, but rather led to research (a paper based on the data collected by the citizen scientists). Technically this should have been ineligible, but the risk paid off, as the institution had all its case studies scored at 3 and 4* for Geography. I'd hazard a guess that this might have been a 3* based on this issue, and there are no guarantees that this panel would do the same again or that another panel would look as favourably on a case like this. But it is interesting, and gratifying given the quality of the citizen science and engagement 
  • Identify top-scoring REF2014 case studies for your discipline with this REFviewer tool developed by Jo Wood from City University London
  • Coming soon: I've written an article for the US-based NCURA magazine on how to move your REF impact case study to a new institution
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Research England & N8 funded Chair of Socio-Technical Innovation
School of Natural and Environmental Sciences, Newcastle University
N8 Agri-FoodInstitute for Agri-Food Research & Innovation and Centre for Rural Economy

Working across the N8 Universities of Durham, Lancaster, Leeds, Liverpool, Manchester, Newcastle, Sheffield and York
Visiting Professor at University of Leeds and Birmingham City University
Research Lead for International Union for the Conservation of Nature’s UK Peatland Programme
Tel. 07538082343
Twitter: @profmarkreed

Fast track your impact: training for researchers by researchers

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