On Tuesday 14th March, Desh Mofidi (Research Manager) and Kate Woode (Senior Fundraising and Communications Manager) attended a research impact masterclass, hosted by the Association of Medical Research Charities (AMRC). This was an interesting event, which highlighted the tools and resources available to identify and report on impact arising from funded research projects. A recurrent theme that surfaced during the conference was that impact can take many different forms, which is often influenced by the context and type of research that is being undertaken. The ultimate measure of impact, in a medical research setting, is patient benefit. However, one of the challenges to measuring this impact is that the research process is not a linear one. It is a complex process, where both opportunity and time-sensitive topics can influence how research progresses further down the trajectory towards patient benefit.
Various research output assessment tools were showcased, revealing the latest algorithms underlying them where the main objective is to try and automate as much information as possible, thereby reducing additional burden on researchers. Pharmacy Research UK (PRUK) uses Researchfish as one of the tools for monitoring research outputs, which has helped us to identify where impact has been immediately evident. Continued use of Researchfish, in addition to other measures of impact, will help to focus our efforts in establishing potential longer-term research impact.
An important point raised was that research impact can only be realised if the dissemination of research outputs are maximised and remain efficient. Both funders and researchers can benefit from this efficiency, by working collaboratively to disseminate the research findings to relevant stakeholders. By maximising this collaboration, we can ensure that such findings remain widely available, thereby raising awareness and potential opportunities for further investigative work to take place and for the work to progress further downstream.
We would like to thank the AMRC for yet another great and important event. See the AMRC storify of the event for more information.