After May's bumper newsletter, I thought I'd better try and send my next newsletter before I collect too much stuff to share with you! I'm also sneaking this out before I disappear for a summer of research and impact activities in Indonesia, Australia and New Zealand (as well as a few holidays). As a result there is going to be a bit of a lull in the generation of new content for the next couple of months, but hopefully you'll be doing so much fun stuff of your own, you won't notice!
- How to make an infographic CV featuring impact that you could actually submit with your next grant application. You can see mine before and after the infographic treatment, and I checked it with my funder so this will be going in with my next grant application!
- How to start a newsletter that will get read and generate impact from your research: watch the vlog or read the accompanying blog. I find that I get more engagement through this newsletter than I do through all my social media combined - if you get it right, a newsletter can be a really powerful way of engaging with the people who are interested in your research
- New guide: how to create a podcast that generates research impact in 10 easy (and free) steps. In the guide, I provide you with all the practical advice you need, and interview James Daybell from the Histories of the Unexpected podcast to show you the heights of public engagement you can reach as an academic podcaster
- 3 ways press offices can better support research impact. I wrote this briefing note for a session I ran with The Conversation's UK media advisory group, and based on their feedback, I'll be working with The Conversation to develop an open access Impact Toolkit for press offices. The plan is to present a first draft at the next advisory group in January, and to launch the toolkit in Spring 2020.
- Increase the likelihood of your evidence being taken up by policy: to celebrate my PhD student, Rosi Neumann, submitting her thesis on science-policy networks last month, we recorded a podcast episode - the advice is both evidence-based and really practical
- How to work with the third sector to get evidence into policy: watch my vlog or read the blog version. In this, I share some of my own experiences working with a charity to get evidence from my own research into national and international policy
- Linked to this, check out Oxfam's new guidelines on Planning Research for Influencing
- Personalised impact training: a few weeks ago I interviewed Emma Sutton, Davina Whitnall and Sandy Sparks to showcase their personalized approach to impact training. Find out how researcher development and impact teams can co-produce training to meeting key skills gaps on impact as part of a long-term personalized approach to training that enables researchers to build capacity systematically through a three-year training plan including targeted workshops and one-to-one coaching
- "A crucially important tone that is often lost is the idea of impact as an opportunity" - Julie Bayley in the foreword to Kieran Fenby-Hulse et al.'s new book, Research Impact and the Early Career Researcher: Lived Experiences, New Perspectives. I'm planning to write a review once I've finished it, but if you want to check it our yourself, you can order your copy here
- Last month, I did a broad-ranging interview for the Helium podcast on generating impact whilst becoming a more resilient researcher - they asked some pretty challenging questions, from how to generate impact with limited time to dealing with mental health challenges on the job
- How to make your public engagement accessible to all - useful blog by Jamie Gallagher
- I love these tips for academics on how to use Twitter by my Newcastle colleague, Niki Rust - I've learned more from her about how to get engagement on Twitter than from anyone else and now she's distilled her wisdom into a really quick and easy to read guide
- Nominations have opened for the Emerald Publishing Real Impact Awards 2019
- I'm so pleased to see how useful everyone has been finding my new Pathway to Impact Builder tool - we've helped write the impact sections of almost 200 research proposals since we launched it in Spring. Try it out here
- In case you missed it last month, this vlog has been proving popular: Three simple things that will make the impact in your next funding proposal highly competitive
Becoming more productive and resilient
- Four ways to cultivate deeper creativity by embracing failure, procrastination and criticism: read the blog or listen to the podcast episode
- After a bruising failure at work last month, I had to do some soul searching to keep on track. I recorded two podcast episodes on valuing failure, which many of you have told me you have found really helpful. In part 1, I explore how you can reframe the failures and rejections that are part of everyday academic life as something that deeply affirms your values and leads to greater meaning and contentment. I consider how to pick battles and choose to do things that are high risk but high reward in terms of expressing our values, and how to know when to stop fighting a losing battle in line with our values.
- In part 2, I think about how we step back, withdraw from the fight and change tack, drawing on a philosophy of pessimism. This views challenge as a psychological necessity that makes us feel more fully alive, rather constantly looking forward to a time when there will be no suffering or being nostalgic for a lost time before our challenges began. Academic life is full of rejections, but this episode will help you transform your view of failure to become more resilient
- Lessons from the world's most productive researchers: view the slides from my productivity training course, based on The Productive Researcher book
- Level up by saying 'no’: I found this blog by Tseen Khoo really useful
Evidencing impact and REF2021
In my next newsletter I'm excited that we'll be announcing the winner of our Unsung Impacts prize with the launch of the third issue of our free magazine! Our photographer did the final photo shoot last week (a new look me since I started wearing glasses, for the editorial), so we're on the home straight now...
- I’m excited to be able to announce that for a short time this year I’m going to be offering case study reviews for REF2021 with my close colleague Bella Reichard. Bella is lead author on the largest ever analysis of graded case studies from REF2014, combining qualitative analysis with quantitative analysis of high versus low-scoring cases across all Main Panels. You’ll be the first to get a copy when the full paper is published, but until then, you can get a few of the key messages on this blog. Bella’s work is already great value for money and for a limited time, I’ll be providing free additional review feedback to complement Bella’s work for each case study she reviews. I only have a limited capacity, so this offer will have to be on a strict first come first served basis. After that I’m going to hide under my rock again and go back to saying “no” to all case study reviews outside Newcastle, so please do avail yourself of this opportunity if you want to get Bella’s unique expertise along with my own views on your planned case studies
- On average a 4* REF2021 impact case study is likely to be worth between £300,000-£645,000 over the next REF period, according to this new analysis by University of Sheffield
- 57% of UK researchers hold negative attitudes towards REF2021 (compared to 29% positive), despite being happy about the changes that were made since 2014 (makes you wonder how people felt in 2014)
- Evidencing impact from media engagement (part 1): Last week on the podcast I discussed three ways you can evidence impacts arising from media coverage of your research, with a particular focus on understanding the significance of the benefits, rather than just focusing on measurements of reach (audio)
- Evidencing impact from media engagement (part 2): This week I interview Yamni Nigum and Clare Lehane about how they got Swansea University research on maggot therapy for wounds featured in four episodes of the popular UK soap Casualty, watched by 4.5 million people every week. They have commissioned a polling company to do a before and after evaluation of the impact the episodes have on people’s perceptions of maggot therapy. Yamni’s story shows how curiosity driven research can lead to impact, and how applying that same curiosity to impact can lead to powerful evidence of benefits to the people she has sought to help
- Decision tree for choosing (research impact) evaluation methods by the Co-production Network for Wales
- Knowledge exchange or research impact - what is the difference between REF and KEF? Read the new blog by Hamish McAlpine and Steven Hill, or read my thoughts in this article in The Guardian
Have a great summer and stay in touch!
Research England & N8 funded Chair of Socio-Technical Innovation
School of Natural and Environmental Sciences, Newcastle University
N8 Agri-Food, Institute 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
Fast track your impact: training for researchers by researchers
I work two evenings a week, so if this email arrives outside office hours, please do not feel you have to reply until normal working hours.