Designing impact

This page is for Oxford Brookes University staff. Its purpose is to explain internal processes to staff members. It was moved into its current location on the website in Autumn 2022.

Page content is being revised to reflect the move to the new Research, Innovation and Enterprise Directorate.

Impact can occur at any stage of the research cycle. Serendipitous impact can be significant but usually impact is the result of effective impact planning, knowledge exchange and engagement activities.

Think about the potential impacts of your research from the outset, by exploring who could be positively affected and how you can increase the chances of them benefiting from your work.

Dissemination activities, such as presenting at conferences, publishing in academic journals and delivering research group seminars, are usually not effective at creating tangible impacts outside academia. It is important, although it might not always be straightforward, to distinguish between the routes to impact (often known as dissemination, knowledge exchange or engagement) and the impact itself. Routes are how (through what means) the research led to or contributed to changes in awareness, behaviour, perceptions, etc. The impact is the change that has occurred.