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Types and models of research impact. Sandra Nutley University of St Andrews. Research Unit for Research Utilisation. (RURU). www.st-and.ac.uk/~ruru. www.evidencenetwork.org. Key message.

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Types and models of research impact l.jpg

Types and models of research impact

Sandra Nutley

University of St Andrews


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Research Unit for Research Utilisation

(RURU)

www.st-and.ac.uk/~ruru

www.evidencenetwork.org


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Key message

Impact assessment strategies need to be underpinned by realistic ideas about the nature and process of research impact


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Types of impact

  • Instrumental– change in policy or practice

  • Conceptual – change in knowledge, understanding, attitudes

…and Enlightenment impact


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Practice & policy change

Knowledge & understanding

Attitudes, perceptions, ideas

Awareness

A research impact continuum

CONCEPTUAL USE

INSTRUMENTAL USE


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Models of research impact

Stocks or reservoirs of research knowledge

Political and professional environments and wider society


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Co-production of knowledge

Knowledge impels action

Knowledge grabbing

Percolation

Interaction

Problem solving or tactical

Models of research impact

Stocks or reservoirs of research knowledge

Political and professional environments and wider society


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Models of research use in social care

Research-based practitioner

Embedded research

Organisational

excellence


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Research based knowledge

Practice

Research based practitioner

Individual craft knowledge and experience


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Embedded research model

Research on what works

Practice guidelines and tools

Scrutiny of the use of guidelines tools

Training in use of guidelines and tools


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Working in partnership with local universities and research intermediaries

Organisational excellence model

Learning from existing research

Commissioning local research and evaluations

Developing a research-minded culture

Service delivery organisations


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Models of research use in social care intermediaries

Research-based practitioner

Embedded research

Organisational

excellence

One size does not fit all


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Implications for impact assessment intermediaries

No single model of research impact likely to be relevant for all situations

Make choices based on a clear understanding of the purpose of impact assessment activities


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May need to consider activities, outputs and outcomes in at least 4 spheres:

  • Research production

  • User communities

  • Interactions between research producers and users

  • Context within which this occurs

Context

Research

Interaction

Users


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Some funded research may have immediate and recognisable impacts – and some may have none – it is difficult to know these things in advance, especially as impact often occurs far down the line…