Researchers and research institutions are increasingly required to demonstrate research impact, but what exactly is research impact and how should we approach it, given the complex challenges the world faces?

  • Project dates: 2019 (ongoing)

Researchers and research institutions are increasingly required to demonstrate research impact, and significant effort is going into enhancing and promoting the impact of research projects around the world.

But what exactly is research impact and how should we approach it, given the complex challenges the world faces?

In this project, we reviewed research impact literature from across the globe and talked with research leaders around RMIT to think through different approaches to research impact.

The result is a framework of three ‘generations’ of research impact.

The last of these is an approach we call ‘research impact as ethos’ – one that takes seriously the challenge of generating a positive, learning-oriented research impact culture appropriate to the challenges at hand.

This is about research impact as more than the ‘backwash’ of research, but as a  purposeful, connected and adaptive orientation to research work across and beyond institutions.

In addition to the final report, the Rethinking Research Impact project has produced a practical Research Impact Canvas (worksheet) that is now being adopted in RMIT to help researchers think through the questions that matter as they plan and conduct their research.

Key People

Lead researchers

Associate Professor Lauren Rickards

Associate Professor Lauren Rickards

Convener of Climate Change Transformations Program

Associate Professor Wendy Steele

Associate Professor Wendy Steele

Convener of Critical Urban Governance Program

Oli Moraes

Oli Moraes

Research Assistant

Rethinking Research Impact

Olga Kokshagina

Research Fellow

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