Fast Track Impact

The podcast for researchers who want to be more productive and achieve real-world impacts from their research.
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Fast Track Impact


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Now displaying: March, 2016
Mar 28, 2016

In this episode, Mark presents eight powerful questions that will enable you to envision the impacts your research might have. Whether you already have a defined impact goal and plan, or you don't know where to start, these questions will help you get a clear idea of the impacts you could achieve from your research:

  1. What aspects of your research might be interesting or useful to someone, or could you (or someone else) build upon to create something interesting or useful at some point in the future?
  2. Going beyond your research for a moment, think of issues, policy areas, sectors of the economy, practices, behaviours, trends etc. that link in some way to your research. What problems or needs are there in these places, and what are the barriers that are preventing these issues from being resolved? Could your research help address these needs and barriers in some way?
  3. What is the most significant area of current policy, practice or business that your research might change or disrupt?
  4. Which are the individuals, groups or organisations that might be interested in this aspect of your research (whether now or in future)?
  5. What aspects of your research are they likely to be most interested in, and what would need to happen for this to become more relevant to them? What could you do differently to make your work more relevant to these people? Who would you need help from?
  6. If these people took an interest in or used your research, what would change?
  7. Might you see changes in individuals, groups, organisations, or at a societal or some other level?
  8. Would these changes be beneficial or might some groups be disadvantaged in some way as a result of your research?
Mar 22, 2016

In this episode, Mark shares five ways you can enhance the impact of your research. He illustrates each of the five principles with practical suggestions about ways you can generate impacts from your research. 


Principle 1: Design

Know the impacts you want to achieve and design impact into your research from the start:

  • Set impact and knowledge exchange goals from the outset
  • Make a detailed impact plan
  • Build in flexibility to your plans so they can respond to changing user needs and priorities
  • Find skilled people (and where possible financial resources) to support your impact


Principle 2: Represent

Systematically represent the needs and priorities of those who will use your research:

  • Systematically identify individuals, groups, organisations and publics that are likely to be interested in, use or benefit from your research
  • Identify stakeholders who could help or block you, or who might be disadvantaged by your work
  • Revisit who you’re working with as your context and stakeholder/public needs and interests change
  • Embed key stakeholders in your research
  • Consider the ethical implications of engaging with different stakeholders at different stages of the research cycle


Principle 3: Engage

Build long-term, two-way, trusting relationships with those who will use your research and co-generate new knowledge together:

  • Have two-way dialogue as equals with likely users of your research
  • Build long-term relationships with the users of your research
  • Work with knowledge brokers and professional facilitators
  • Understand what will motivate research users to get involved
  • Work with stakeholders to interpret findings and co-design communication products


Principle 4: Early impacts

Deliver tangible results as soon as possible to keep people engaged with your work. Identify quick wins where tangible impacts can be delivered as early as possible in the research process, to reward and keep likely users of research engaged with the research process.


Principle 5: Reflect and sustain

Keep track of your progress towards impact, so you can improve your knowledge exchange, and continue nurturing relationships and generating impacts in the long term:

  • Track your impacts
  • Regularly reflect on your knowledge exchange with research team and stakeholders
  • Learn from peers and share good practice
  • Identify what knowledge exchange needs to continue after the end of the project and consider how to generate long-term impacts