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Do you want to

fast track your impact? 

Training for researchers

Training for researchers

In a nutshell


Fast Track Impact is running two open courses in 2020, one for researchers and one for professional services staff. Run by Prof Mark Reed, numbers are capped at 20 participants per course. This one-day course will give you everything you need to generate real-world impacts from your research. You will leave with practical tools you can use immediately in your research, whatever your discipline and career stage. The training is based on the latest research evidence and takes a unique relational approach to deliver wide-reaching and lasting impacts.

Trainings take place in Aberdeen, and are held on a Friday if you want to spend the weekend exploring the beaches and mountains of this picturesque part of Scotland.  

Full price: £150

Early bird rate: £120 (book before 26th June)


Next course: 4th September 2020

Book your place here (only 20 available)

Key Benefits


You will receive a copy of The Research Impact Handbook (275 pages) for future reference, and you will have the opportunity to sign up for free follow-on training to embed what you've learned in your work. Mark answers all queries from trainees within one week, with no limit on the number of queries or length of time since training. 

  • Learn about evidence-based principles for delivering research impact when you don’t have much time

  • Discover easy and quick-to-use templates you can use immediately to:

    • Identify the beneficiaries of your research, those who may be negatively affected by your work, and those who have the power to facilitate or block your impact

    • Create a powerful impact plan that will guarantee your research makes a difference

  • Learn techniques you can use to design and facilitate workshops with the likely users of your research (or your colleagues), so you are able to manage challenging people and situations, and make meetings and events efficient and enjoyable

  • Use your digital footprint to generate impact, to build visibility and credibility for your research online. Understand the power and the pitfalls of using social media professionally, and find out how to become influential and drive research impacts in this space (suitable for experts, novices and those who have never used social media professionally

Book your place here (only 20 available)

Cairngorms National Park
Don mouth beach
Training room, The Hub
The Hub (training venue)

Training takes place at The Hub, Bridge of Don, Aberdeen, in reach of Don Mouth beach (on foot) and the Cairngorms (by hire car) 

Training for PhD students

Training for PhD students
Our mission is to change the way PhD students generate and share knowledge, so that their ideas can change the world. We regularly train PhD students from Research Council funded doctoral research partnerships, and students from graduate schools across the rest of the UK and Europe. We work with all disciplines, from pure to more applied subject areas, and can work with specific cohorts or groups of students at different stages in their PhD research. 
Prof Mark Reed explains the importance of impact training for PhD students:
"Generating impact from your PhD is no longer an optional extra - it is essential step on the career ladder. Getting good papers from your PhD is often not enough to secure an academic post, but being able to demonstrate impact from your papers can set you apart and add real value to a prospective employer. For PhD students who pursue non-academic careers, impact is even more important. Impact opportunities often turn into job opportunities, and a recent Vitae survey of recent PhD graduates who went into non-academic careers showed that communication skills were the transferable skills they valued most from their PhD."
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Tailored to your needs


We spend time making sure every course precisely meets your needs, no matter how diverse your group is

What does our training include?

We spend time with you before we train to ensure our workshops is tailored to the needs of your group. Our training includes:

  • Full day training with Prof Mark Reed

  • A copy for each participant of the acclaimed 375 page Research Impact Handbook based on the latest research (plus work sheets) (worth £25.99)

  • Configure your training as a full-day event or as two individually bookable half-day events (participants can attend either half or come for the full day)

  • A free 5 step follow-up programme over five weeks, so participants can apply what they have learned. They can work through these steps themselves from the handbook, but by signing up to take these steps online, they get access to extra material. The steps consist of a 6 minute video with accompanying text and tasks. This follow-up work helps participants remember to apply what they learned in the course and significantly increases their chances of achieving impacts. Prof Reed provides email support to all participants to help them apply what they learn in the context of their PhD.

Morning Session:

Session 1: What is impact?

  • Paired discussion: Why generate impact from your PhD?

  • Presentation: What is impact?

Session 2: Fast track the impact of your PhD

  • What works? 5 principles to fast track the impact of your PhD

  • Tools to generate impact efficiently (including paired exercise):

    • Prioritising which stakeholders and publics to engage with first

    • Planning for impact efficiently and effectively

  • Free Fast Track Impact resources

Session 3: Parallel

Choose from:

  • Presenting with impact: how to influence your audience

  • How to write a winning pathway to impact in a fellowship or other funding application


PhD training agenda example

Afternoon Session: 

The Digital Academic: how to move from a passive digital footprint to active engagement and impact without risking your time or reputation


Whether you are a novice or an expert, this session will enable you to harness the power of your digital footprint to enhance your research. The session includes significant time for discussion and gives you an opportunity to:

  • Critically reflect on your digital footprint and consider how you can actively manage and curate your online presence more efficiently and effectively

  • Critically discuss the risks and benefits of social media, addressing concerns over time-wasting, privacy and reputational damage head-on

  • Explore the reasons why social media has, in theory, so much potential for generating impact

  • Come to a reasoned decision about whether you want to reduce risks to your time and reputation by engaging differently or less with social media, or whether (and how) you might progress from "lurking", to "signposting" other people's content and generating your own research-based content

  • Learn how to grow your influence and audience without spending all day online, so you efficiently target the audiences most interested in your research and drive traffic to your blogs, videos and other online resources linked to your research

  • Learn how to turn online influence into offline impact that can be measured in real terms through a case study of research that used social media as a pathway to impact, which was featured in REF2014

  • Find out how to optimise your tweets and implement a strategy that will give you instant and rapid growth on Twitter with limited time inputs

  • Find out how you can use LinkedIn to drive impacts from your research rather than just using it as an online CV


Professor Reed has over 50,000 followers across different social media platforms, giving him significant online influence. He has used this influence to drive significant impacts from his research, whilst saving time in his working day through his efficient and highly targeted use of social media. 

This session is based on Chapters 16 and 17 of The Research Impact Handbook.

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Designing & facilitating events with research users

Whether with other researchers, stakeholders or publics, all researchers need to be able to lead efficient and powerful meetings and workshops if they want their work to make a difference. You can't always defer to someone with more experience or hire a professional facilitator, but by learning a few basic tips and tricks, you will feel empowered to deal with the most challenging situations and individuals and run events that everyone enjoys. Learn how to:

  • Design meetings and workshops that facilitate themselves, so you stay on track and work effectively together, whether or not you have experience or confidence as a facilitator

  • Use simple techniques that structure events, give everyone a say and prevent dominant individuals taking over

  • Identify and manage tricky power dynamics in a group, so you can adapt your approach to avoid conflict

  • Identify and manage difficult individuals without confrontation, even if they are significantly more powerful than you, so you have the confidence to keep things on track

  • Consider ways of increasing your personal power over time so you grow in confidence as you manage meetings, workshops and colleagues

Prof Reed is a professional facilitator who has designed and run over 100 participatory processes with researchers, stakeholders and publics for a range of clients including government departments and UN bodies. 

This session is based on Chapters 14 and 15 of The Research Impact Handbook.

Next steps: How to get ongoing support after this training

Break during which those not likely to work with policy-makers leave

Working with policy-makers (for those in the group likely to work with policy as part of their pathway to impact)


Learn how to get your research into policy, wherever you work in the world, by building trust, working with intermediaries and designing effective policy briefs that you can use with the people you come into relationship with. Based on the experience of your trainer and discussion with the group:

  • Consider where you would place yourself on a continuum from passive informer to active influencer, trading off the risks of not achieving impacts versus the potential risks to your reputation

  • Extract best practice principles from a range of different policy briefs, and consider how you might design something around your research, or in collaboration with colleagues doing more policy-relevant research linked to your work

  • In addition to the formal mechanisms you can use to get your evidence into policy, consider how to build trust and credibility for your research from the bottom up via policy and evidence analysts and the top-down via intermediaries who can work directly with ministers

  • Discuss ways of making initial contacts, finding the right people to influence within the policy community and how to work with different types of knowledge brokers and intermediaries to get research messages across without losing control of your message 

Prof Reed has worked extensively with the UK Government, Devolved Administrations, international governments and the United Nations to deliver policy impacts from his research, and emphasizes the role of empathy and trust in producing research that genuinely affects policy change.

This session is based on Chapters 19 and 20 of The Research Impact Handbook

Find out more


Download a brochure or contact us to arrange a call from Prof Reed to discuss how exactly the training can be adapted to meet your needs.

Read our Terms and Conditions.

Training for professional services staff

Video-based interactive group training

Free online training

Free online training

In a nutshell:


This course will help you fast track the impact of your research, no matter what career stage or discipline you are in. It will inspire and equip you with the skills and confidence you need to make a step change in the impact of your research. It takes around 10-20 minutes to work through the course materials each week over 5 weeks, and anywhere from a couple of minutes to a couple of hours to complete each week's tasks. This gives you time to apply what you learn to your own research. 



Immediate, tangible benefits for your research:


There is an accompanying book that enables you to study in greater depth if you want, but the course is designed to be completely self-contained. It is based on evidence-based principles from our own peer-reviewed research, which were developed with the UK Research Councils to ensure they are relevant across all disciplines. This free online course complements our full training programme (available only to institutions), which has already benefited thousands of researchers around the world. It will give you powerful new insights and skills that you can apply across all areas of your life, not just your research. 


Our mission is to change the way researchers generate knowledge, so that your ideas can change the world. Whether you are a PhD student or a Professor, a medieval historian or a medic, this course will equip you with the tools you need to significantly increase the impact of your research.

What people are saying:


“Great practical tips. Much to take away both theoretically and practically.”

"Managing my project in this way, identifying possible stakeholders and thinking of risks has never crossed my mind." 

"I've learned how to be strategic [about impact] and ask myself self some hard questions."

“I’ve got a more professional perspective on research impact now.”

"Wonderully insightful."

How does it work?


After a brief introduction to the programme, you will work through five steps. Each step consists of a 6 minute video and a short reading. At the end of each step, Prof Reed will give you tasks to complete within your own research before next week's step. 


  • Introduction: Five ways to fast track your impact

  • Week 1: Envision your impact

  • Week 2: Plan for impact

  • Week 3: Cut back anything hindering or distracting you from your impact 

  • Week 4: Get specific about the impacts you will seek and the people who can help you achieve impact this month

  • Week 5: Achieve your first step towards impact and monitor your success

Start now


An idea can change the world. Will you be that change? Register now:


Click the link you receive to confirm your subscription and you'll get instant free access to the full programme. You can stop the course and unsubscribe from emails at any point. We will never share your details with anyone (read our privacy and anti-spam policies). Depending on the security settings in your browser, the sign up form may not be visible. If you are having trouble subscribing for this or any other reason, please email and we'll subscribe you manually.


Looking forward to working with you!

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