Making an impact across the Commonwealth and beyond

Making an impact across the Commonwealth and beyond

Published on 06 February 2019

On Thursday 31 January the ACU hosted Dr David Phipps – an award winning research impact expert – at the ACU, along with Dr Julie Bayley, Director of Research Impact Development at the University of Lincoln, and Tony Roche from Emerald Publishing, to deliver a talk on how they're working together to promote research impact across the Commonwealth and beyond.

Exploring how to define and measure impact, their though-provoking talk focused on the effects of research and how its direct benefits in the world are distinct from how it may be measured or disseminated. They shared their concept of 'research impact literacy', a way of supporting researchers and their institutions by enabling them to understand fully how impact works.

This was endorsed by Emerald Publishing who, in their role as a publisher committed to meaningful, real world impact, make Dr Phipps and Dr Bayley's useful toolkits and case studies available on their website. Tony Roche from Emerald Publishing then talked about how they got involved and is exploring how to support research impact broadly in international contexts.

A stimulating question and answer session covered issues such as decolonising the way we view impact in order to make it meaningful in different contexts, the equal value and impact of teaching, and the advantages of networking and sharing within the research community.

Dr Phipps concluded: 'It's not about bridging the gaps it's closing the loop, because bridging the gaps suggest we stay in silos. We actually need to close the loop to create connections between stakeholder communities and academic communities'.

The event was attended by representatives of member universities and local organisations, including SOAS, the University of Brighton, the Bloomsbury Institute, the University of Greenwich, Middlesex University, and the UK Council for Graduate Education.

More information

Dr Phipps from York University in Canada, a longstanding ACU Engage Community Steering Committee member, and Dr Bayley were awarded the ACU Gordon and Jean Southam Fellowship in 2016 to work together on research impact from the different perspectives of the UK, with a strong impact agenda, and Canada, without a formal impact agenda.

During the talk, Dr Phipps and Dr Bayley highlighted how this Fellowship seeded their ongoing collaboration that has resulted in published work on competencies for research impact practitioners, as well as research impact literacy.

For further information, please email