Impact culture
Online course


Our online courses are just as interactive as any face-to-face training. They are specially designed so you get more engagement in ways that are not possible when everyone is in the same room together. Online courses are a great way to keep colleagues connected and inspired. 

Since Fast Track Impact launched in 2013, it has become the most widely used resource to train researchers in impact in the world, having been used by over 200 institutions in 55 countries to date. We have regularly trained researchers in every Russell Group University and the majority of other research-active institutions.



Course Description

REF-driven impact cultures happen by default. Healthy impact cultures happen on purpose. The Impact Culture course from Fast Track Impact enables you to co-create an impact culture with your colleagues that draws people to impact on their own terms, whether they want to create jobs or fight capitalism. These are cultures that celebrate the kinds of unsung impactsthat 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

  • Explore how your personal impact priorities emerge at the intersection between your professional identity and your values, and identify personal and institutional actions that could enable you to achieve those priorities.

  • Identify your spheres of influence and levels of trust within and beyond your academic community, and think beyond current impacts to identify new benefits, for example working with hard-to-reach groups or sector-hopping.

  • 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 test out 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.

What does our training include?


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

  • Prof Reed works with every group.

  • Each participant gets a pdf copy of Prof Reed’s acclaimed Research Impact Handbook and an e-handout pack with editable worksheets. Hard copies are available for any participant who would like one. Simply email to request a copy sent directly to your home address.

  • Configure your training as a full-day event or as two individually bookable half-day events.

  • Sessions run via Zoom which does not require any software (just an internet browser), enabling colleagues to join easily from home. Breaks are generous, so people can pace themselves effectively.

  • Get a full video recording of each session you can share with colleagues who couldn’t attend.

  • Two main modes of group interaction:

    • Small group is done via Zoom’s break-out room function, with key insights reported back in plenary to the wider group. 

    • Plenary discussion is done Zoom’s chat function in a two-part process. First everyone is asked to comment via chat (e.g. provide an answer to a provocative question, or ask a question of their own). Second, a sample of these is used to facilitate further in-depth discussion via commentary from Mark, followed by an open-mic session for those who want to take the discussion further.

  • Additional learning and interaction you can't get face-to-face, for example:

    • You get more engagement in plenary discussion than is possible face-to-face because everyone is asked to write an answer to the discussion point (or pose their own question) before discussion commences, rather than just the few who have time (and courage) to speak. 

    • It is possible to get more out of some exercises where those speaking are able to share their screen with the whole group. 

    • New individual exercises enable participants to go deeper into course content linked to their own research.

We pride ourselves in the quality of our follow-up with participants, ensuring they are able to apply what they learn to transform their practice:

  • Online courses feature additional individual follow-up after each training. Participants are invited to write actions they commit to doing within a month, based on the course, which we email back to them exactly 1 month later, increasing the likelihood that actions are completed.

  • In the follow-up email after a month, participants are invited to reply to get help applying what they learned if they have not completed their intended actions. If they use our system, we guarantee a response within a week to all questions with no time limit and no restriction on the number of questions that can be asked.

  • Everyone gets an email via the course organiser (including those who do not wish to share their email with us) with links to slides and a reminder about how to get support from Prof Reed.

  • Everyone is also invited to join a free follow-up programme over five weeks, to apply what they have learned in their research. 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. Each week consists of a 6 minute video with accompanying text and tasks.

What does a typical day look like?

There are two versions of the course – the full course and a half day impact culture course followed by a REF impact case study review.

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What are people saying about this course?

"[Doing the course online was] really useful and engaging.”


“Inspirational day”


"I learned a lot about good ways of doing online delivery and the functionality that Zoom has!"

“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"




Full day workshop for up to 30 people: £2400 + VAT


30 participants = £2400 + VAT (£93 + VAT per head – minimum order)

40 = £2700 + VAT (£78 + VAT per head)

50 = £3000 + VAT (£68 + VAT per head)

60 = £3300 + VAT (£62 + VAT per head)


Read our Terms and Conditions.

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