Hello everyone

I hope you are enjoying your December so far and looking forward to some holidays soon! I this month’s newsletter, I’m excited to unveil three new courses for 2020. We’ve been working on these for a while, so I’m really excited to be able to say that they are now open for booking! There are still a few slots available in the second half of 2020, but you’ll need to book for the second half if you want a choice of dates. 

We’ve also refreshed our design offering for 2020, with all jobs including expert one-to-one advice from me:
  • For those of you who have recently won new projects (to help you fit your website into a full post-award impact plan) and
  • For REF impact case study authors (I do a detailed review of your draft case study so we can design your website to extend the significance/reach of your impact)
And of course I have lots of other useful resources for you, as usual! Enjoy…

New courses for 2020

Impact Culture

As you approach the finishing line for REF2021, are you wondering how you can build more a more vibrant and healthy impact culture, that is driven more by the ingenuity and passion of your research community than it is by REF?

REF-driven impact cultures happen by default. Healthy impact cultures happen on purpose.

The Impact Culture course from Fast Track Impact enables you to co-create an impact culture with your colleagues that draws people to impact on their own terms, whether they want to create jobs or fight capitalism. These are cultures that celebrate the kinds of “unsung impacts” that inspire us despite never becoming an impact case study. Yet, they are also cultures that generate case studies without being REF-driven.

Find out more

Influencing policy

This course is based on research by Prof Reed and the latest evidence on how to get research evidence into policy. Drawing on his own research and extensive experience working with UK and overseas Governments and the United Nations, Prof Reed takes a unique relational approach to working with policy-makers that can be adapted to any Government or organization.

The course starts with tools to plan policy impacts more effectively and efficiently, before introducing tools policy briefs, with an exercise to consider how to create an effective brief. Then, Prof Reed considers how researchers can go beyond their contribution to consultations and inquiries to affect change from the bottom up and the top down via more informal channels. The course gives participants an opportunity to debate and consider their own ethical boundaries, so they are able to safely become more relational and hence more impactful without crossing red lines. The session concludes with a consideration of how to evidence impacts of research on policy.

Find out more

REF impact webinar

Get tailored advice from the world’s leading expert on impact, based on unique empirical evidence of the key predictors of high and low scores in REF impact case studies. Invite your case study authors to a webinar with Prof Mark Reed, who is advising every Russell Group University and the majority of other Universities on impact for REF2021, to find out how you can compete effectively to get top scores on impact.
  • Find out how your competitors are raising the bar for their best case studies
  • Learn what made a 4* case study in REF2014 based on a quantitative linguistic analysis of the largest ever sample of known high versus low-scoring cases
  • Get advice on how to evidence impacts convincingly with limited time and resources
  • Find out how to structure your case study to avoid giving sub-panels reasons to bring down your score
  • Discuss the greatest challenges you are facing in your case studies with Prof Reed
  • Get a recording of the webinar, and access to the slides and underpinning research for those who can’t make it on the day
Find out more

New impact guides

I’m pleased to introduce two new impact guides, and I was wondering if you can help me with some of the research I’m doing to create a forthcoming guide on working with the media? 
  • Advanced stakeholder analysis reveals more than ever before about who you need to work with on your pathway to impact. Read the new guide or listen to the audio version from the podcast
  • Presenting with impact (with accompanying videos). Learn what you need to do in the first 30 seconds of any talk to grab your audience’s attention and trust. Connect more deeply with your audience to drive deeper engagement with your message. Convey passion and authority by ensuring the strength of your evidence-based message is matched by your posture and intonation. Simplify your message to make it memorable and powerful. And practice to look effortless.
  • Do you work with the media? I want to hear from researchers and members of press offices and professional services impact teams who work with the media, as part of an initiative between The Conversation and Fast Track Impact to develop a free toolkit for press offices to engage more effectively with professional services staff and academics to generate impact from research (view the original proposal discussed by The Conversation’s media advisory group in July 2019). To inform the development of the toolkit, I would like to invite you to answer a short survey (10 mins). Take the survey now

From the podcast

This week and next, I'm reading from a new paper that my colleagues and I submitted a few months ago to Research Policy about evidencing impact. Since recording the first part, it has been resubmitted, responding to reviewer feedback, so with luck it will make it all the way to publication. In the meantime (unless you come to one of my trainings), this is the only way to get hold of the paper:
  • In evidencing impact (part 1) I propose a new academic definition of research impact (including a new way of thinking about reach) and we define impact evaluation. Thanks to many of you who helped via Twitter, you’ll hear the most comprehensive overview of all national impact assessment that currently exist around the world. I finish by describing the five types of impact evaluation you’ll hear more about in this week’s episode
  • Next week, in addition to Part 2 of evidencing impact, there will be a bonus episode recorded at the climate summit in Madrid about how to use policy seminars to build relationships and create opportunities for long-term impacts
  • You can also listen to an episode on how to deal with conspiracy theorists on your pathway to impact - essential listening before you head to any family Christmas party if you want to engage constructively with some of the crazier views you might encounter!

New impact research and other resources
If you’ve found this newsletter, please share it with a friend - they can sign up here. All the back issues are also now available for the first time here. Please get in touch if you have any questions or spot any useful resources you think I should be sharing here.

Otherwise, have a great Christmas break!

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 Impact: get more impact, get your time back, get inspired
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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