Training for impact officers

In a nutshell


This course will help you work more effectively with academics to motivate and equip them to generate impact from their research. You will:

  • Learn how to motivate academics from any discipline to engage more deeply with impact

  • Be empowered to lead transformational conversations and workshops with academics around impact, and be able to deal with difficult individuals and situations with confidence

  • Be equipped with tools you can use easily with academics, and that busy academics can use themselves to fast track their impact

  • Be able to contribute strategically to REF planning with the latest insights from across the sector on the role of impact in the next REF

And when you leave, you're not on your own. Prof Reed works with you for two months after the course, via up to two half hour Skype or phone sessions with you or if you prefer with you and academics you're working with, and provides detailed written feedback on your work or the work of your academics. You get exclusive access to Fast Track Impact training slides, all our free templates and a free copy of the Fast Track Impact Handbook, so you can take what you've learned to your academics. And if you want, you can sign up individual academics to our free online training course and work through the material with them.  

We want you to be empowered to champion, lead and inspire your colleagues to generate impacts from their research without adding significantly to their workload.

The course 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.

What's in the course?


The training takes a day, and every participant gets a copy of The Research Impact Handbook and Prof Reed supports a selection of staff after the course, prioritised for help by the organiser.


A typical day looks like this:

  • Motivating impact: discussion about what motivates academics and how you can connect these core motives to impact, to intrinsically motivate your colleagues to engage more deeply with impact. In addition to plenary discussion the group maps the objectives of their professional roles to the motivational levers available to them to discuss the pros and cons of using extrinsic incentives versus tapping into intrinsic motivations to engage with impact

  • Understanding impact: discussion based on material in The Research Impact Handbook about different definitions of impact, how significance and reach may be interpreted in different disciplines, how to deal with negative impacts, and strategic impacts that are likely score highly in REF versus supporting other types of impact. We look at the politicisation of the impact agenda and how you can avoid being perceived as part of the establishment and instead give agency back to researchers to pursue impact for their own intrinsic reasons, rather than solely for institutional drivers like REF

  • 5 ways to fast track research impact: presentation based on the latest research evidence about how researchers can effectively and efficiently generated impact from their work. In addition to refreshing your skills and knowledge, participants are invited to consider how each of the five principles can save academics time, and help overcome the time barrier to engaging with impact

  • Identifying publics and stakeholders introduction to a quick and simple template to help researchers systematically identify publics and stakeholders who may benefit from their work, so they can introduction prioritise those who may benefit most to work with first

  • Planning for impact: introduction to Fast Track Impact's impact planning template

  • What makes a 4* impact case study: a brief introduction to impact in REF based on the latest guidance, followed by an overview of new evidence showing what led to high scores in REF2014. These lessons are fully explored through a group discussion of graded REF impact case studies, paired with their original pre-award pathway to impact

  • Evaluating impact:

    • Discussion about how to create a culture of ongoing impact tracking, so it is easier for researchers to input data to institutional repositories, highlighting a range of tools that can make impact tracking quicker, easier and more attractive for researchers

    • Overview of methods for evaluating impact, leading to a group exercise to design an impact evaluation

    • How to turn evaluation findings into citable evidence for REF, including publication options and how to secure powerful testimonials

  • Having effective conversations and meetings with academics and stakeholders for impact:

    • How to structure a conversation to empower academics to take the first steps towards impact

    • How to design out the need for a professional facilitator by structuring meetings or workshop with academics or stakeholders to prevent people dominating or being marginalised: a guide to the most useful techniques available to help groups of people think together creatively and efficiently to generate impacts together

    • Managing your own levels of power: techniques for increasing your power and confidence when you have to facilitate groups of people you feel are more powerful than you

    • Managing group power dynamics: how to identify high and low power individuals and spot the early warning signs of conflict

    • Managing difficult people and situations: simple tips and tricks you can use to manage dominant, offensive and powerful individuals without requiring any power of your own, to keep things on track

  • Doing it on your own:

    • Follow-on support options for you and your academics

    • Overview of tools and templates available from Fast Track Impact


We've trained >4000 researchers from >200 institutions in 55 countries:

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Book now​


As a full-time Professor at Newcastle University, Prof Reed can only do a limited number of trainings per month, so available training slots book up fast. Contact us to arrange a chat with Prof Reed about your needs and to get a quote.


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


30 participants = £2800 + VAT (£93 + VAT per head – minimum order)

40 = £3100 + VAT (£78 + VAT per head)

50 = £3400 + VAT (£68 + VAT per head)

60 = £3700 + VAT (£62 + VAT per head)


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


Money-back plus guarantee: we are so confident that your group will love our training that we'll give you your money back and 30 free books (worth £750) if you don't get over 90% positive feedback (top scores of 4/5 and 5/5) and 90% saying they would recommend it to colleagues.


Workshops for PhD students are only available as full day workshops and are delivered by Jenn Chubb. 


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?

A selection of quotes from feedback forms:


"I will be more confident in conversations with researchers about their impact."

"Insightful, working with academics. Inspired to consider my own role and potentially more."

“I will be using some of the tricks I learned today to better manage both researchers and stakeholders.”

"Helped me understand impact at all levels, and how to get academics engaged."

"Reflection and group discussion was well facilitated by Mark."

"I will speak to academics differently about impact."

“Insightful discussions around the psychology and dynamics of what we do and the challenges of dealing with academics.”

“I will be able to provide better/more relevant feedback to researchers on how to make impact in their research applications more fundable.”

“I will improve my training practice as a result of what I learned today.”

"I will use the tools and templates with researchers."