Our Research Impact School programme combines five live and engaging 2-hour workshops with use of our impact tracking software OutNav to equip you with the knowledge, skills and tools to understand and assess the impact of your work, so that you can tell a robust story about the difference your research or evidence to action strategy makes.  

Available dates

We are no longer accepting bookings for our November 2021 intake.

April 2022

Please note that the 2022 workshop dates have been revised since first pubished.

  • Workshop one: 18 April
  • Workshop two: 25 April
  • Workshop three: 2 May
  • Workshop four: 9 May
  • Workshop five: 16 May

Provisional workshop times: 9.30 – 11.30 am (GMT). However, we have welcomed people from all over the world to our Research Impact School and try to accommodate people from all time zones, sometimes this means we will offer a choice of times for each workshop.

About the training

This is a remote training programme that takes place on Zoom, using Miro and our own software OutNav. The programme includes:

  • Five 2-hour workshops – one a week for five weeks
  • Resources for tracking your research or knowledge initiatives’ impact
  • Use of our impact tracking software OutNav for the duration of the course and for a further three months after the course
  • The option to add additional team members to your OutNav project free of charge.

In the workshops we will explore how to set out your impact map and use this as a lens for collecting and collating data that can demonstrate that your research or K2A strategy makes a difference.

The workshops will take you through a process of setting out the impact for your project or programme, auditing your data, improving feedback and pulling everything together into an impact narrative, case study or other report.

  • Workshop one: Welcome and orientation. Approaches to assessing impact. Introduction to pathways.
  • Workshop two: Define and refine a pathway to impact.
  • Workshop three: Data for impact assessment- sources and approaches.
  • Workshop four: Indicators and data for impact.
  • Workshop five: Telling an evidence-based impact story for funders and stakeholders – Taking it forward.

What will you work on?

You will need to focus on a specific project, programme or research portfolio. This will be easiest if you choose something well-defined, with existing impact goals. If you want to discuss this prior to the course, please get in touch.

Using our innovative impact tracking software OutNav

You will use OutNav, our innovative cloud-based software that provides a single place for you to hold your data and evidence, and assess progress towards impact.

Course leader and co-director of Matter of Focus Sarah Morton on how OutNav can help you with research impact.

At the end of the five-weeks of training you will have a further three months’ access to OutNav to continue your tracking. You may also make full use of our OutNav knowledgebase, twice-weekly online drop-in help sessions, and OutNav technical support during this period.

At the end of the 3-month trial you can continue your work in OutNav with an annual subscription or download all of your work.

What will be covered in the training?

  • How to plot impact maps
  • Using impact maps to assess impact
  • Assessing impact – potential indicators (what works)
  • Identifying data (and gaps) and designing data collection
  • Building your impact story
  • Telling your impact story for different audiences, including REF and RCA impact case study requirements.

What will I learn and gain?

  • An understanding of the challenges of tracking the impact of research on communities, policy, practice or the public.
  • A measurable impact plan, with identified data and feedback.
  • Strategies for getting feedback that ensure your research impact assessment is robust and credible.
  • A chance to try a cloud-based impact tracking tool, with a six-month subscription to continue tracking.
  • Ongoing help and support via our OutNav Community for the duration of your OutNav subscription.

What difference will this make?

By the end of the course you will have a pathway to impact for your chosen project, with defined data and evidence, and an emerging impact narrative. You will also have a better understanding of how to track the impact of research and will be able to take the learning and apply it to other projects.

Who is leading this course?

The Matter of Focus Research Impact School is led by
Dr Sarah Morton (co-founding director of Matter of Focus and Honorary Fellow University of Edinburgh).

Sarah has an international reputation as a leader in the fields of knowledge exchange and research impact, leading in-demand courses such as Making and Measuring Impact for NCRM, and has been an invited speaker on this topic in the UK, Canada and Australia. She has conducted eight independent impact studies and supported organisations and individuals to create and understand the impact of research and evidence-use strategies.

Is this programme right for you?

The Matter of Focus Research Impact School training is for anyone that wants to develop a good understanding of research impact and plan for bringing a body of evidence together to tell a robust story or create a case study.

Please get in touch to let us know you’d like to discuss whether this programme of training is right for you.

How much does this programme cost?

  • £500+ VAT per person

What are the payment options?

When we receive your booking form, we will send you (or your nominated finance contact) an invoice for the course fees, with payment instructions based on your preferred method: payment can be paid by bank transfer or credit card.

How to book

Please complete the booking form below.

When you submit the form, please check for the on-screen confirmation message. You should also receive an automatic confirmation of submission emailed to you – if this doesn’t arrive in your inbox, please check your junk folder.

We will also confirm your booking in person by email within two working days.

Book your Research Impact School training place here

  • April 2022 start

  • Please provide a description of your project or programme, or area of research that you want to focus on for this training.
  • Billing details

    We will contact you with instructions for payment once we have received and processed your booking form.
  • If different from your contact email above
  • Booking Terms & Conditions

  • Notice of OutNav Terms & Conditions

    This training course includes a trial of the Matter of Focus software OutNav, which comes with its own terms and conditions. You (or, at your request, an authorizer from your organisation) will be sent and asked to review and sign the full OutNav terms and conditions prior to the start of the training. You can view the OutNav terms and conditions now at the link below.
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