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Understanding Research Impact

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Gillian McCallum discusses how researchers can design their projects to plan for impact and evaluate their projects for the next REF.

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This workshop is tailored to researchers working in the Glasgow Caledonian University context, however, others are welcome to come along if they think it may have value for them - this includes individuals from the third sector.

Now that REF 2021 is over for at least another 7 years, I would like to introduce myself and my role post-REF. While the Research Excellence Framework has been a driving force for the impact agenda, impact is more than just for REF. Last year research councils and other funders, recognised the importance of impact in research grants by embedding it throughout proposals. Research Impact is also relevant to GCU's Research Strategy, the Societal Themes, Sustainable Development Goals and GCU Common Good. In this presentation/ workshop I hope to explore research impact and how important it is. As well as providing a basic understanding of research impact, I will discuss how researchers might design their projects to plan for impact, monitor and evaluate their research to help translate research into the real world in order to bring about change.

My name is Gillian McCallum and I am Research Impact and Knowledge Exchange Officer for almost 4 years at GCU. I started at the SHLS and in the last three years I have worked in the same role for GSBS and SCEBE, primarily assisting on the University’s REF2021 preparations. Prior this, I worked for various MSPs and Ministers in the Scottish Parliament, I also work as a Research Manager at STV News and have a background in policy and public affairs. After graduating from the University of Glasgow and Newcastle, I was a Research Assistant at the University of Aberdeen and Glasgow. My academic degrees are in politics and economics.


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