What is Social Care Research Impact?

Welcome to the Social Care Research Impact Website

Welcome to socialcareresearchimpact.org.uk, a site supporting social care researchers to increase the impact of their research.

Scroll down to find out more about the site and tools and resources available to you here.

What do we mean by 'impact'?

Impact is commonly defined as ‘to come into forcible contact with another object’, or to have a strong effect on someone or something.

Too often research is conducted with too little consideration of its effect on its intended end users, or even without too much consideration of who those end users might be.

We’ve developed a guide highlighting some key steps to consider the next time you write a research proposal to ensure your research will be impactful.

In social care and health impactful high quality research is likely to be of relevance to, and engage with, a wide range of stakeholders.

We’ve identified a range of tools to help conceptualise and map potential stakeholders for your research process.

Examples of Social Care Research Impact

We’ve compiled a range of examples of how social care research has developed impact within society, to inspire your own future work and funding bids.

We’ve also developed a taxonomy to help you plan, conceptualise and discuss your own impact activity.

What do we mean by 'research impact'?

Research impact is defined by Research Councils UK as ‘the demonstrable contribution that excellent research makes to society and the economy’.

It is explicit within this definition and most research funding bids these days, that the impact of research must be demonstrable, and considered at the outset of the process, not simply considered after the event.

What is Impact within a Social Care context?

Often it relates to real issues experienced by those requiring support or services. To have an impact it must be possible for research to be applied to policy decisions and developments, to the delivery of support and services, or to those purchasing or commissioning care.

We’ve developed a number of tools to support academics conceptualise the commissioning and policy making processes.

Broadening the definition of impact

The impact of research in social care and health has the potential to be much wider and more relevant than simply influencing policy or high level service design and provision decision making.

In addition to Policy and Economic Impact, we have assembled a taxonomy of impact, developed from a broad consideration of what constitutes impact, a review of REF 2014 submissions, and identified a number of other approaches to social care impact.

Helping Social Care Research Move Beyond Academic Impact

The key message here is that impact must be considered more broadly than simply producing traditional academic outputs such as presenting a Poster, at a Conference, or publishing a Journal Article.

Integrating Impact Throughout the Research Process

This site includes information about integrating impact and research at different stages of the research process, a number of tools to support the planning and management of impact activity, and a range of tools and methods to inspire you to consider how to create impact as you conduct your research.

Integrating Impact with the Research Process

We have developed an outline of the different phases of the research process. We hope that this will help support you to consider impact as part of the planning of research activity, and to consider impact activity at each stage of the research process. Whilst these categorisations and sequencing may not map directly to your process, it should be possible to identify which research phases are connected to your own, and by exploring them understand how to plan for and integrate impact activity at these stages of the research process.

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