What steps should be taken to ensure research delivers impact?

This was the question a medical faculty at a leading Russell Group university wanted to answer. Their aim was to develop an impact strategy, with an eye on the next research assessment exercise.

Wary of a top-down approach, the Faculty asked Campus PR to help design and deliver an ‘away day’ involving some of its academics and key people from other Faculties, to ensure multiple views would feed into their strategy.

The day involved a mix of presentations from key figures across the University plus group discussions around a set of predetermined questions.

The questions we helped to frame worked extremely well in encouraging a dialogue. Simple, but clear, the discussions they prompted brought out the main issues and identified potential solutions for the Faculty to consider.

We took the mass of information generated – transcriptions of each group discussion, Post-it notes and flip charts – together with the speakers’ presentations and compiled it into an easy-to-digest, final report. This detailed the main issues discussed and laid out a coherent plan of action, based on the suggestions put forward by the different groups.

This strategy is already being put into practice, with plans for a follow-up day underway.