Impact, in relation to research, is understood as 'the demonstrable contribution that excellent research makes to society and the economy'.

Within a research context, impact embraces the many different ways in which research-related skills benefit individuals, organisations and nations.

These include:

  • Fostering global economic performance, and specifically, the economic competitiveness of the UK
  • Increasing the effectiveness of public services and policy decisions
  • Enhancing quality of life, health and creative output

Academic impact is the demonstrable contribution that excellent social and economic research makes to scientific advances, across and within disciplines, including significant advances in understanding, method, theory and application.

Economic and societal impact is the demonstrable contribution that excellent social and economic research makes to society and the economy, of benefit to individuals, organisations and nations.

The introduction of impact into the Research Excellence Framework (REF) is an important addition to the assessment of research activity. At the RVC we help our early career researchers and senior academics to understand the implications of this for their work and ways in which they might develop activities to help disseminate outcomes to a wide audience and engage relevant audiences with research.

The case studies (redacted for publication where required) submitted by RVC to the 2014 REF can be downloaded from REF 2014 Impact Case Studies

Top of page