Hello everyone! 

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! 

Generating impact
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
  • 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 
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... 

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-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
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.

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