Research Impact - Making Your Mark
  • Room 605, Rolle Building, Plymouth University

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Impact happens when our research makes a positive difference to the world around us. However, it rarely happens without engaging and working with a variety of stakeholders both within and without academia. 

Through talks, Q&As and practical session, the afternoon event will introduce to you what impact is and why it’s important to build impact planning into the research process, as well as provide insights on how to identify and build meaningful, long-term relationships with a diverse range of stakeholders and partners. 

This will be a REF free zone and everyone is welcome to come along!


13:00: Introduction to research impact and stakeholder engagement, and what to expect - Dr Lucy Davies

Lucy is the Research Impact Officer for Plymouth University, based in the Research Support and Development team in Research & Innovation. Passionate about encouraging researchers to make their work matter in the world outside academia, her role in the University is to support and encourage researchers at all stages of their career to engage with non-academic audiences and maximise their economic, societal and community impact. Lucy has a research background in computational neuroscience and applied health research and is also involved with promoting culture across the city with her role in Visual Arts Plymouth.

13:20: Engaging with stakeholders - real life experiences and lessons learned 

Katy Stevenson - “Between a fruit machine and a vodka-jelly shot poster we discussed the community’s health needs: reflections on patient and public involvement in clinical education”

Katy is a final year medical student at the Peninsula College of Medicine and Dentistry and last year took a year out of her studies to intercalate in the Masters in Clinical Education programme. Katy is passionate about social change, and for a long time has been interested in health promotion, community medicine and community-engaged medical education. Katy’s MSc analysed the learning value of patient and public involvement to medical and healthcare students in the design and delivery of a community health promotion event. Today Katy will be discussing the benefits and challenges of involving members of the public in research and how their involvement shapes research outcomes and its impact.

Maarten Wynants - “Science and stakeholder engagement in developing countries, the need for a happy marriage to have a positive impact on local livelihoods”

Maarten studied Biology (Bachelor and Master of Science) at the KULeuven, Belgium, during which he specialised in ecology and conservation. Since then his research has focused on sustainable development projects in East Africa, with an emphasis on stakeholder engagement. Maarten is currently working on his PhD project, supervised by Professor William Blake, investigating the effects of soil erosion on ecosystem service provision in the Lake Manyara basin, Tanzania and is also working on a new NERC grant, sponsored by the Global Challenges Research Fund (GCRF, a fund announced by the UK government to support cutting-edge research that addresses the challenges faced by developing countries). This project ('Socio-ecological resilience to soil erosion driven by land use change and extreme events: Past, present and future challenges in East-Africa') aims to combine both natural and social sciences to develop a conceptual model of the resilience of the local communities and to evaluate the challenges and opportunities in using such a conceptual model as a tool to engage stakeholders.

Dr Abigail McQuatters-Gollop - “From data to decisions: creating impact through policy” 

Abigail is a lecturer in marine conservation at Plymouth University. She is a NERC Knowledge Exchange Fellow and is leading the implementation of the EU Marine Strategy Framework Directive for pelagic habitats for the UK and OSPAR (Northern Europe). Abigail’s research focuses on marine ecological responses to anthropogenic and climate change and the subsequent integration of results into the policy process. She is active in the ICES Working Group on Biodiversity Indicators and SCOR’s Working Group on Phytoplankton Time-Series. Abigail has delivered policy impact workshops worldwide, and has just received a Japan Society for the Promotion of Science fellowship to work on policy impact generation in Japan.

14:20: Q&A

14:45: Break

15:00-15:45: Practical session: Stakeholders - identifying and prioritising engagement 

  • 20 minutes - Identifying stakeholders
  • 20 minutes - Prioritising relationships

15:45-16:00: Final thoughts and close

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