Being able to communicate the impact of your research is an essential part of a UK research council funding proposals.
Get this right and you will significantly increase your chances of success.
1. Identify The Main Research Question
Start by identifying the main research question of your project.
This will help you to focus on the potential impact of your research.
What are the potential outcomes of your research?
2. Define The Impact
Next, define the impact that your research is likely to have.
This should be based on the expected outcomes of your research and the potential benefits to society, the economy, or the environment.
How can the outcomes of your research contribute to societal needs?
3. Identify Stakeholders
Consider who will be affected by your research, including the general public, policymakers, industry partners, or other researchers.
How have you included stakeholders in your project?
What can they contribute to the research?
4. Describe The Potential Impact
Describe the potential impact of your research in clear and concise language. Be specific and use quantitative data where possible to demonstrate the potential benefits.
Refer to your outcomes (Step 1), your defined impact (Step 2) and your stakeholders (Step 3).
Which aspects can you potentially measure using quantitative metrics?
5. Provide Indicators Of Evidence
Your research will generate evidence. How can you describe the pathways to research impact that your evidence will provide?
Examples of evidence that will support your claims include case studies, statistics, or testimonials from stakeholders.
6. Consider The Wider Context
Try and extend your thinking beyond the immediate outcomes of the research.
How can your work impact related fields or contexts, or better still, go beyond the area of focus?
7. Highlight Novelty
Highlight the novelty of your research, and how it could lead to new discoveries, techniques, or products.
What is distinct about your potential contribution?
8. Review And Revise
Finally, review and revise your impact statement to ensure that it is clear, concise, and convincing. Clearly communicating your impact is vital if you are to differentiate your proposal from all of the others.
It helps to get input from colleagues while you are drafting it, to ensure that it reads well.