At some point I shall steel myself to write a lengthier blog on the subject of evaluating research impact. Not least because it is a subject dominating the higher education press right now.
However, this week the following report by Action Medical Research – one of our members – came across my desk. And I thought it was such a good example of the efforts being applied by research charities to assessing the impact of their research funding on behalf of donors that I’d share it now. The report looks at the impact of its Research Training Fellowship Awards (which it has been running for over 35 years) in terms of furthering science and developing research capacity, and changing clinical practice. It also looks at what has happened to those who it has awarded Fellowships to in terms of their careers and their ongoing contribution to science and/or medicine.
You’ll find that many medical research charities are now undertaking this sort of work – see the following gap analysis by Breast Cancer Campaign of research in its field for another example although very different in nature – and charities are becoming well-versed in the issues of how to evaluate and communicate impact having lived with the new Charity Commission requirements around demonstrating public benefit for a number of years.
Very happy to include other examples if people send them to me.