As the government begins to put more focus on research impact when it comes to funding, it’s important that universities can demonstrate the ways in which their work can be more meaningful beyond the pages of journals.
With this in mind, Griffith Business School joined forces with the Department of International Business and Asian Studies, and the Centre for Work, Organisation and Wellbeing to present a workshop geared at discovering how to create research with impact.
Featuring speakers such as , Vice Principal of the University of Dundee; Griffith University’s Associate Professor Tim Butcher, from the Department of International Business and Asian Studies; and Professor Paul Hibbert, the Dean of Arts and Divinity at University of St Andrews, the workshop aimed to explore how to create and communicate the meaningful outcomes of Griffith University’s research in a ways that resonate with and impact the economy, society, culture, national security, public policy, health, the environment or quality of life.
It looked at different ways to conduct research that ensured a level of engagement with the end users, as well as the various ways that academics might go about demonstrating the impact of their work.
Griffith Asia Institute’s Professor Sara McGaughey was a workshop participant and says building strong relationship with key stakeholders was something that was often needed to be able to create lasting impressions.
“A powerful theme that came out of the workshop was the long-term and close engagement with stakeholders that is often needed to generate research that has impact,” she says.
“At times, the most important impact for stakeholders occurs during the research process itself, rather than in any measurable outcome, such as a journal publication or policy influence.”
Professor McGaughey emphasises that this then raises questions about the way universities currently measure academic performance, particularly as institutions strive to foster research that has demonstrable impact.
“The current separation of ‘research’ and ‘engagement’ obscures the way in which the process of engaged scholarship can have a direct and immediate impact on participants,” the Professor explains.
She praised the workshop as an excellent early step in identifying impact and strategising to create meaningful outcomes.
“Workshops where we can engage in interdisciplinary, reflective dialogues about what impact actually is and how it can be measured are enormously valuable,” Professor McGaughey concludes.