Research impact

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Researchers are being actively encouraged to think about how their work benefits others – from the academic community to wider society and the economy.

What is research impact and why is it important?

There are a number of ways for social and biomedical science researchers to demonstrate impact. Their work might influence social and economic policy development, or improve how policy is understood. Research can also improve practice, for example in public service delivery or through developing skills and techniques in the research community itself.

What are the challenges?

Securing and assessing impact is never straightforward. Best practice in enabling and demonstrating impact is still being developed, and can be trickier for studies whose impact will be most visible in the long-term. A key challenge will be to translate and communicate the evidence from the studies in relevant, accessible, understandable and useful ways to both policy and practice audiences.

What is CLOSER doing about it?

CLOSER is working to enhance and maximise the impact of the cohort studies. Our first task is to review the strategies that the studies are currently using. This will help us draw out best practice to share across the studies and wider research community. The review will also inform the CLOSER impact strategy, which will complement and support the work of the studies.

More about impact

Research Councils UK (RCUK) defines research impact as the ‘demonstrable contribution that excellent research makes to society and the economy’. Find out more about RCUK’s Pathways to Impact.