Date and Time
6th May 2014 10:00 –– 6th May 2014 16:30
University of Aberdeen

The Scottish Graduate School of Social Science welcomes postgraduate research students to the following advanced training event:


Impact. Impact. Impact.

6 May 2014

University of Aberdeen


Workshop content

How does your research impact upon the wider world outside of your lab? We will spend the day considering this question in various ways. We will tell you about different forms of impact and how these can and will be measured in the forthcoming REF 2014, and also the potential role of impact in subsequent research assessment exercises. We will contemplate why you should care about the impact of your research findings and you will find out that many other people care about the impact of your research too (e.g., the people who fund it). The day will culminate with a workshop in which we will encourage you to reflect on and discuss ways of increasing the impact of your own research to its fullest potential. 





From 10.30am

Meet and greet

Tea, coffee and hopefully some cake too


Knowledge exchange and dissemination

Dr Amy Irwin

Impact now encompasses the transfer of information from academia to three main stakeholders – the general public, practitioners / professionals and government.  As such new researchers are expected to present their work in a variety of formats, including interviews and articles in the general media, presentations to lay audiences and collaboration with policy makers.  I will discuss the various methods of engaging in such knowledge exchange and dissemination, and there will also be group work based on presenting your own research to the media. 


REF 2014 and beyond

Dr Jasna Martinovic

REF2014 and beyond, with a particular emphasis on impact and what it means



Sandwiches and drinks will be provided


A case study: health psychology

Dr Julia Allan

Health psychology produces data of relevance to multiple stakeholders:  healthy people, ill people, health professionals and policy makers.  But the potential of these data to improve the health of individuals, communities and, ultimately, nations has to be clearly demonstrated. Taking specific examples from the work of the Aberdeen Health Psychology Group (AHPG), I will discuss the ways in which we are seeking to maximize the impact of our research upon the health of the nation.

2.45 till 4.30pm


Your research impact

Dr Kevin Allan


A workshop. In small groups you will be asked to consider and discuss the forms of impact that exist within your own field, who is having impact, how did they get it, whether or not you too can have it, and how you might go about doing this.


Aberdeen SUPPORT meeting May 6th 2014 - IMPACT

Over the course of the day you will develop a clearer idea of (1) what impact is, generally; (2) various generic routes by which it can be achieved; (3) the kinds of impact feasible within your chosen field of research; (4) how you might go about achieving impact.


Outline of the Day

To have impact, you have to communicate your results clearly and effectively to specialists in your own field, specialists in other fields, and non-specialists. So we will kick off the day with a talk from Dr Amy Irwin on the topic of communication. She will also introduce you to your principle stakeholders i.e. the groups within society upon whom your research may have impact. In other words, the people outside of your lab who may be interested in your research or who may not be interested but really they should be. Amy will also ask you to consider how you would go about presenting your research, or your field of research, to public via the media, in order to increase the chances of it having the kind of impact you want upon the right kinds of stakeholder.

Next we will have a talk from Dr Jasna Martinovic, the Aberdeen School of Psychology Director of Research. Dr Martinovic will discuss how impact fits into national assessments of research quality within the UK context. This is useful for us today because it will provide some guidance for you as you begin to think of how to move from your lab results or from the main findings in your research area  - through communication to stakeholders, through to impact.

Over a working lunch, we will ask you to form into small working groups of like-minded individuals, i.e. people who are doing research on similar topics, or perhaps using similar methodologies. You will work in these groups during the workshop later this afternoon. Over lunch we want you to begin to discuss, in the small groups, what kinds of impact your field has had, or could have.

After lunch we will hear from Dr Julia Allan who will tell us about an additional stage within the process of moving from the lab through to genuine impact. This stage concerns the translation of lab findings into experimentally controlled and realistic, everyday contexts. This work allows an evidence base to be established which demonstrates the utility of lab findings in an applied setting. In addition, her talk will also illustrate how important it is to highlight the relevance of psychological findings to specialists in other disciplines with whom one may want to collaborate for mutual advantage in her case, nutritionists and biologists.

Finally, we will have the workshop. In the small groups you formed over lunchtime, you will be asked to pull together what you have learned earlier in the day to think collectively about what kinds of impact your research, or research area more generally, might have had, and the potential forms of impact your research might have in the future. We're going to ask you to spend the first third of the workshop, about 20 minutes or so, considering these questions, and then the rest of the workshop will be spent presenting what you have come up with to another group, and listening in turn to what they have come up with.


The organiser of this event is Lisa Debruine and further questions can be directed to her at

Students without pre-existing sources of funding for travel can apply for travel expenses to be reimbursed after the event.


 To register for this event please go to the eventbrite page

Last updated 25 Feb 2014 10:13am