The requirement to demonstrate research impact – defined by RCUK as the “demonstrable contribution that excellent research makes to society and the economy” – is becoming an increasing concern for academics. As doctoral researchers, we too are encouraged to attend to this aspect in our work. We are provided with toolkits to help us plan our impact pathway and are often required to submit evidence of how our research has influenced public life. Many within academia have resisted, challenged or critiqued the ‘impact agenda’ (Colley, 2014). However, given that research impact is now integral to how our work is judged (Martin, 2011), how can we, as doctoral researchers, open up this debate? Can our experiences contribute to this healthy discussion and, possibly, suggest some ways forward?
This symposium seeks to raise and debate questions about what it means to attend to the impact agenda as a doctoral researcher. It will offer the opportunity to engage in discussion about not just how to ‘do impact’, but how to contribute to the development of the continuing role that research impact will likely play in our future careers.
We are delighted to welcome Professor Jon Bannister from Manchester Metropolitan University as our keynote speaker. Professor Bannister has published on knowledge exchange/mobilisation and will speak to the theme of Civic Social Science.
The symposium will also include a range of papers from researchers at different stages of their research careers, working across Social, Health and Natural Sciences. We welcome PhD and early-career researchers from various disciplines to come together with the overall aim of exploring and interrogating issues around impact within their research.