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Impact Culture

Motivating change in the metricised academy

  • Are you demoralised and demotivated by the increasingly managerial, metricised nature of your work? Do you feel you have to be all things to all people (teacher, researcher, administrator, impactful, and get work-life-balance), and as a result feel that there’s no room for you to be yourself and authentically pursue your best work?

  • Are you interested in generating benefits for others from your work, but not for the reasons or in the ways you have been told that you should be "doing impact” by your University, funders or Government?

  • Do you want to change your research culture to make it possible to do the research that interests you alongside impacts that inspire you? Are you impatient for the leadership or resources to make change happen, but don’t want to move institution or wait any longer for change to come?

  • Do you feel trapped in a toxic research culture that you have been unable to leave? Do you want to create a protective bubble in which you and your co-workers can do the best work of your lives despite the culture you find yourselves in?

  • Have you been given responsibility for managing impact? Do you want to create an impact culture that inspires and draws people to doing research in new ways that will give them more time to be curious, creative and challenged, and if all goes according to plan, also make the world a better place?


The Impact Culture course from Fast Track Impact enables you to create your own impact culture that motivates you and draws others to impact on their own terms. These are cultures that celebrate the kinds of “unsung impacts” that inspire us despite never becoming an impact case study. Yet, they are also cultures that generate case studies without being REF-driven.

  • Understand your research culture, considering your approach to research, identity and values, and community

  • Use diagnostic questions to identify bright spots and issues in each part of your impact culture

  • Consider different approaches to managing competing research and impact goals 

  • Understand how your values and identity shape your priorities (including your motivation for impact), and how your institutional culture promotes or inhibits your ability to achieve impact

  • Explore your impact community, considering ways to strengthen social capital and extend networks

  • Learn from evolutionary organisations, contrasting top-down change management linked to extrinsic incentives from REF and funders, with more bottom-up approaches that draw on your intrinsic motivations

  • Design your own experiment to experiment with small, safe changes that you can evaluate and scale to do the best work of your career

  • Write postcards to your future self (with 1-3 actions you want to commit to) and to someone you’d like to have a conversation with about wider change. You’ll receive them back in around a month to remind you to do your actions and have your conversation.

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The course draws on the research and experience of Prof Mark Reed, who trains internationally and has advised on impact in every Russel Group institution and the majority of other research active Universities in the UK. He is the author of two books on research and impact culture, The Research Impact Handbook and The Productive Researcher, and has published over 150 peer-reviewed articles that have been cited >15,000 times. Copies of The Research Impact Handbook available on request at no additional cost for participants (request this when you  book the course), and Prof Reed answers all queries from participants within a week, to ensure you have support to change your impact culture for the better. 

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There are two versions of the course:

  1. Full impact culture course: includes group exercises to identify shared values and link these to priority actions that could build community and trust, and enhance research and impact within your institution, and provides time for participants to develop a personal Theory of Change to sequentially link actions that can enable them to be part of a more healthy and vibrant impact culture

  2. Half day impact culture course with REF impact case study review: includes all the key content and exercises from the impact culture course in the morning, with an opportunity to discuss your impact case studies with Prof Reed in the afternoon. This is done in an impact surgery session in which case study authors raise challenges which Prof Reed initially answers before bringing in ideas from the wider group, followed by an evidence session with a brief guide to monitoring and evaluating impact and a “how would you prove that” question and answer session, looking at some of the most difficult to evaluate impacts. Delegates are given access to papers by Prof Reed, Bella Reichard and others on what made a 4* impact case study in REF2014 and impact evaluation methods, and individual case study reviews can be provided at extra cost in collaboration with Bella Reichard. 

  3. Two-day retreat: significant additional time for personal and group reflection, including walking exercises and evening meal. Ideal for research groups and departments who want to refresh their mission and build their team 

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Download the course slides

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Full course-

Sample agenda

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Half-day course-

Sample agenda


Full day workshop for up to 30 people: £2800 + VAT


30 participants (including email support for all participants from Prof Reed) = £2800 + VAT (£93 + VAT per head – minimum order)

40 (with email support for all participants) = £3100 + VAT (£78 + VAT per head)

50 (with email support for all participants) = £3400 + VAT (£68 + VAT per head)

60 (with email support for all participants) = £3700 + VAT (£62 + VAT per head)


For trainings in the UK there are no additional travel/accommodation charges, but for some overseas destinations we add a small surcharge to cover travel costs.


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.

What are people saying about this course?

“I feel more motivated to achieve impact, now I know that all impact matters equally”


“Lots of interaction and learning from others on the course”


“Getting time to reflect on my own values regarding impact in response to the questions raised by the training”


“I will follow through on my own impact goals and also initiate new positive efforts in my department”


“The focus on action planning was useful, and having time to think and discuss issues with colleagues”

“I very much enjoyed how you made us think and explore impact; I especially found the tree/roots diagrams helpful in regards to priorities and how they overlap”


“Really thought-provoking”


“Useful tools that I’ll be able to put into practice”

"I'll stop thinking about impact with only my 'REF hat' on"

"I got some great advice from colleagues"

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