Research impact is the contribution that research makes to the economy, society, environment or culture, beyond the contribution to academic research (Australian Research Council).

Collect data and information that demonstrates a measurable effect or benefit of your research.

1. Evidence of research impact

The type of evidence you can use to demonstrate your research impact will vary depending on your research area and the type of research you are conducting. See examples of UQ's Research Impact.

Collect evidence

When you engage with industry, government, community or other groups, keep a record of activities or documents that demonstrate the use of your research to develop knowledge or change practices.

Evidence of research impact may come from multiple sources such as:

  • Citation network
  • Online attention
  • Media analytics
  • Patents and citations
  • Collaboration.

The next sections, Impact of your publications and Impact of your research partnerships, have more information on how to gather this type of evidence.

The Impact Tracker platform can help you organise and collect your evidence.

Demonstrating your impact

Some research impact is easier to measure than others. Calculating numbers of products sold, new jobs created or patent applications is likely to be an easier form of evidence to gather than measuring policy uptake, changes in practices or improved understanding.

Public events

Research used in public events, conducted to educate people or promote beneficial change, can be used to demonstrate impact. Evidence of impact could include:

  • an evaluation or report of the event
  • audience or participants in the event indicating a change in knowledge, awareness, attitudes, skills or empowerment.

A report of the event may include:

  • details of what the event was
  • what the aims were
  • who attended
  • how the event was evaluated (i.e. feedback form)
  • what you found out.

Formal or informal surveys, attendance at your events or testimonials from key stakeholders or beneficiaries can add to your evidence of impact.

UQ promotes the commercialisation of research to produce innovations that solve real problems. Document the commercialisation of your research. For example:

  • Patents
  • Royalty licences
  • Spin-off companies or start-ups
  • Uptake of your technology or process

Examples of research impact

From the Engagement and Impact Assessment 2018 (EI 2018):

  1. See Impact Studies that received a high rating selected by ARC
  2. Enter and select The University of Queensland under Institutions to see UQ research.

The Research Excellence Framework 2014 is a database of research impact case studies from the UK. See examples of researchers identifying and substantiating their research impact:

  1. Search by keyword
  2. Browse the index, including impact type, research area or location.

Telling impact stories

Watch Telling Impact stories (8m22s)/read the video transcript from Yale University. This video introduces the Becker Model and the list of indicators of impact. It has a biomedical focus but provides an insight into producing an impact story in any research area.

Learn more about research impact: