A webinar for anyone looking for a practical and meaningful approach to understand, assess and tell the story of the difference research and evidence to action work makes.

You can watch the recording here.

Why we need a meaningful approach to understand and assess research impact

It can be challenging to show how research and knowledge contribute to society and the economy. Basic cause and effect models are not appropriate, because the way research is taken up and used is a complex process.

Often systems ask us to ‘count’ incidents of impact, which ignores the rich processes of engagement and new learning that characterise how knowledge impacts people and communities.

Join us for the keys to understanding and assessing research impact

In this webinar, Matter of Focus Co-Director and University of Edinburgh Honorary Fellow Dr Sarah Morton explores some of the challenges of understanding and assessing research impact, especially where research is used in influencing, inspiring and educating people, and where issues of cause and effect are more complex.

The webinar works through three keys to understanding and assessing impact:

  1. Clarifying the processes of impact most relevant to your work
  2. Focusing on reach and engagement
  3. Creating a framework to track impact that is simple but robust

Leave with some actionable next steps

By the end of the webinar you will have some new ideas, tools and techniques to get going with tracking the impact of your own work.

Who is this webinar for?

This webinar is open to anyone with an interest in understanding the impact of their work, but it will be particularly relevant for:

  • Anyone carrying out research with the view to influencing, inspiring and educating people, and where issues of cause and effect are more complex.
  • Research leaders that want to be able to inspire others to work in impactful ways.
  • Impact officers tasked with supporting researchers to track their impact.
  • Leaders or administrators of research centres or evidence to action teams that want to meaningfully track their impact.
  • Researchers or teams concerned with getting evidence into action in the public and third sectors.

Hosted by research impact expert Dr Sarah Morton

Sarah has been working on evidence to action for 19 years. She is internationally recognised for developing innovative approaches to ensure decision-makers have access to the best evidence for taking organisations, policies, and practices forward.

Sarah pioneered a participatory approach using contribution analysis to understand impact, Sarah has developed a pioneering approach to understanding research impact, based on contribution analysis and this is the basis of our approach here at Matter of Focus. 

This has been applied in seven independent impact assessments, to help people with REF impact case studies, and is the basis for the approach and software developed by Matter of Focus. Cutting her knowledge exchange (KE) teeth at the pioneering Centre for Research on Families and Relationships, Sarah broadened understanding of the interaction between research, policy and practice through research and practice work with UNICEF, What Work Scotland and others, and worked alongside organisations to use evidence for improving services for the families and communities they serve (with Healthcare Improvement Scotland, Starcatchers, The Scottish Book Trust, Shelter Scotland and others). 

Watch the webinar

This webinar was held live on 12 March 2024. You can watch the recording below.