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Free training and discussion groups

A programme free training events, a quarterly reading group and regular discussion groups, based on feedback from the impact culture community, co-hosted with a different member of the community each session.

Programme for 2024 






Free training

3 hours

5 Feb 2024


Free training

1 hour

26 Feb 2024


Free training

2 hours

20 May 2024


Free training

3 hours

2 Sep 2024


Free training

3 hours

2 Dec 2024


Free training

2 hours

9 Oct 2024


To find out what’s planned for 2024, make suggestions or offer your own session, please contact Madie.

Free training: Preparing for REF2028


Date: 5 February, 2024

Time: 10:00 - 13:00


This session will help you monitor, evaluate and evidence your impact.

Key benefits:

  • 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:

    • Prioritise who to engage with first

    • Create a powerful impact plan that will guarantee your research makes a difference without wasting your time

  • Learn how to monitor, evaluate and evidence impact convincingly in your case study

  • Discover easy and quick-to-use tools to fix problems with significance or reach in case studies

  • Find out what makes a 4* impact case study, based on research into high versus low-scoring cases in REF2014 and a worked example showing the anatomy of a 4* claim from REF2021

  • Discuss impact plans that might develop into REF2028 case studies with colleagues

Free training: Scoping an ethics of engagement and impact


Date: 26 February, 2024

Time: 13:00 - 14:00


As governments and funders around the world invest in the impact of research as an unquestioned good, there are growing concerns around the ethics of pursuing impact.

Should University ethics committees consider engagement and impact plans for projects that are working on contraversial topics or with vulnerable groups - even if their research doesn't involve human subjects and so would not normally fall under their jurisdiction?

How should researchers and their institutions manage issues such as:

  • Undeclared conflicts of interest (e.g., arising from funding and promotion outcomes from the Research Excellence Framework in the UK)

  • Positive bias in the presentation of impacts (e.g. research leading to economic impacts via questionable ethical practices that also led to significant harm to the environment or human rights), and

  • Concerns about how vulnerable individuals and groups have been used to generate or corroborate impacts?

Free training: Using civic mediation and dialogue to achieve lasting change


Date: 22 February, 2024

Time: 14:30 - 16:00


Civic mediation uses mediative processes to seek constructive ways through societal challenges. It values the role of building relationships within a system to bring about effective change, and works to transform conflict to achieve long-term positive outcomes. Sam Tedcastle & Abdul Rahim from Centre for Good Relations will share their learning on how civic mediation processes can be applied to focus on the human dimension: building relationships and understanding amongst stakeholders, to enable more effective collaboration and problem solving.

This 1.5-hour workshop will outline some of the theories of civic mediation, explore fears stakeholders may have of change and how civic mediation processes can be used to help them move through conflict constructively to find collaborative solutions to the big challenges we face. As a case study, the session will consider how these methods can be used to work through barriers to addressing the dual climate and biodiversity crises, but these methods can be applied more widely across a range of sectors and issues.

Free training: Integrating impact into your next funding bid


Date: 20 May, 2024

Time: 10:00 - 12:00

Learn how to increase your success rates and integrate impact into your next research proposal


Key benefits:

  • Discuss insider tips and tricks, and get bid writing tools to help you co-produce your next proposal with the people most likely to benefit from your research. 

  • Discuss examples of impact sections from real cases for support 

  • Learn how to integrate impact convincingly with your proposal, using a mapping approach to ensure your impact goals map onto your impact problem statement, beneficiaries and impact generation activities, whilst managing risks and assumptions. 

  • Power all of this with a systematic stakeholder analysis and impact logic model that will make it easy to articulate specific and credible impacts.

Free training: Influencing policy


Date: 2 September, 2024

Time: 10:00 - 13:00


This session is based on research by Prof Reed and the latest evidence on how to get research evidence into policy.

Key benefits:

  • Discover quick and easy tools you can use immediately to:

    • Prioritise which policy actors to engage with first and how to instantly get their attention

    • Create a powerful impact plan that will guarantee your research makes a difference without wasting your time

  • Discuss how to design an effective policy brief, infographic or presentation 

  • Learn how to get your research into policy, wherever you work in the world, by building trust and working with intermediaries 

  • Be inspired by primary research and case studies

Free training: Kick-start your impact case study narrative


Date: 9 October, 2024

Time: 10:00 - 12:00


Developing an impact case study is a significant undertaking. Starting this process early can help to gain much-needed clarity, both about your impact project(s) and about expectations for the final product for REF2029. In this workshop, Bella Reichard will guide you through creating (1) a narrative arc for your impact case study, and (2) an action plan to progress your impacts.

  • We will consider different approaches to framing the impact narrative. This can help with prioritising if you have several projects and need to bring them together in a coherent way,
    or to articulate the core message of your case study if you have one main project.

  • Based on her research into high- and low-scoring REF2014 impact case studies, Bella will suggest how to write a summary of your impact for Section 1 of the REF template.

  • There will be time for you to sketch out a writing frame for the whole impact case study,
    and to prioritise actions for the next few weeks, months and years.

Free training: The Productive Researcher


Date: 2 December, 2024

Time: 10:00 - 13:00


Find out how you can become significantly more productive as a researcher in a fraction of your current working day.

Key benefits:

  • Leave with practical tools you can use immediately to prioritise limited time to achieve more ambitious career goals

  • Gain a deeper understanding of the values that underpin your work, and the reasons why you feel time pressured

  • Identify priorities that are as much about being as they are about doing, and that are stretching, motivational, authentic, relational and tailored to your unique strengths and abilities

  • Turn these into an “experiment” to make practical changes that create a positive feedback loop between your priorities and your motivation, so you can become increasingly focussed and productive

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