Published: 26 July 2017

Liverpool Elements launches Impact module for researchers

Elements

At the end of July the University will launch the latest addition to the Liverpool Elements resource – the Impact Module, providing researchers with a platform to record and demonstrate the impact of their research.

Why have an impact module?

The research impact agenda has risen in prominence for all researchers in recent times with increasing interest from funders, users, collaborators, institutions and government in the societal benefit arising from research for example:

  • Research Councils UK sees a clearly thought through and acceptable Pathways to Impact as an essential component of a research proposal and a condition of funding.
  • The Research Excellence Framework assesses the quality of activity and allocates research funding based on non-academic impact.
  • Research impact activity is an integral element of an individual’s contribution to discipline and institutional ambitions.

The University  has a large and ever-growing number of researchers engaged in impact but empowering them to demonstrate the evidence of these impacts has been a challenge. Evidence of impact is often difficult to find, collect and store, and often kept in multiple places and formats.

Professor Simeon Yates, Chair of the Liverpool Elements Project Board said: “Creating meaningful partnerships for impact and increasing the public benefit from our research is an integral part of our civic mission and strategic ambitions.  We hope this new Liverpool Elements resource will benefit all researchers seeking to plot their way through what is now an embedded part of academic life.”

How will the module help?

The Impact Module is an easy method for capturing evidence of impact alongside a relevant and contextual narrative. As well as narratives – brief or extensive as appropriate – the module captures evidence such as documents, reports and web links. The key benefit is that evidence can be built up over time, rather than looking back and writing retrospectively.

Impact activity can also be linked to other University staff, existing publications, and in further Elements developments to research grants. Additionally, the titles of your impact projects will feed through to the academic Portfolio of Activity to allow due consideration in research planning discussions.

With the Impact Module, everything is kept in one place and is easy to access. As information is held in a single, comprehensive system it allows the sharing of knowledge about activity and mitigates problems in consistent reporting.

How can researchers use it?

The Impact Module is designed as a permanently available ‘notepad’ to help researchers log prior, current and emerging impact.  A guide to the Impact Module will be available on launch on the Elements homepage here. Liverpool Elements is applicable to all researchers including PGR students, though because impact tends to have a time lag if you feel that your work may be producing impact please speak to your local Impact Officer.

Further information

For further advice and guidance on impact please see the following resources:

There is a well-established structure for Impact operations within each Faculty with an academic Impact Lead in each area supported by a Professional Services Impact Officer.  A who’s who of people to go to for advice can be found at: https://www.liverpool.ac.uk/intranet/research-policy/impact/structure

For any further questions on Impact or on the Elements system please contact Research Policy:

Bob Cooney: rcooney@liverpool.ac.uk / ext. 48550
Lauren Sandford: lauren.sandford@liverpool.ac.uk / ext. 42023

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