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Influencing policy
Online course

Our half day courses are the most popular, but we can also provide most courses as 2 hour stand-alone courses, or connect these together into a series of sessions running over a few weeks or months. Set up a call to discuss how we can adapt this course to your needs.

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 around 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 in the UK.



Course Description

This course is based on research by Prof Reed and the latest evidence on how to get research evidence into policy. Drawing on his own research and extensive experience working with UK and overseas Governments and the United Nations, Prof Reed takes a unique relational approach to working with policy-makers that can be adapted to any Government or organization.


You will learn how to use tools to plan policy impacts more effectively and efficiently, and have the opportunity to discuss the merits of informing versus influencing policy, before doing an exercise to critique and discuss different policy briefs, infographics and presentations. The course gives you an opportunity to debate and consider your own ethical boundaries, so you are able to safely become more relational and hence more impactful without crossing red lines. As part of the session you will receive a hard copy* and a PDF copy of the second edition of The Research Impact Handbook.

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


At the end of the workshop you:

  • Receive slides and links to free resources to help you embed impact in your research

  • Have the option to make a commitment to an action based on the course and receive a follow-up email from Prof Reed to check in and help as necessary after a month.


Prof Reed continues to answer all questions from participants via email after the course, guaranteeing a response to all questions within one week.

*Available when you book half a day's worth of courses or more

Preparation for the day

Please choose (only) one policy product to read and critique before the training. You can choose a policy brief, an infographic or a presentation (note that presentations consist of both a PowerPoint file and a notes file in Word with the same title and one has a video of the slides being presented). You will be asked to discuss the product you chose in small groups, explaining what you liked or disliked about it, and why.


Choose the policy product you want to review from one of the three folders via this link.

This course is based on these two chapters of The Research Impact Handbook

Click here to read chapter 20
Click here to read chapter 21

What does a typical day look like?

View course slides

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 enjoyed getting more honest insights on influencing policy – not just doing it all “by the book””


“I loved the practical tips based on Mark’s experience.” 


“I liked the focus on risks and ethics”


“I will now try to cultivate relationships with policy makers”


“I will think harder about the policy process the work is feeding into”


“I will think more carefully about how to draft policy briefings”


“The examples of impact pathways and policy briefs were useful”


“Q&A periods were fab. Loved the self-depreciating anecdotes and instances of failure as well as success. Policy discussion exercises were fun. Excellent day – thanks.”


“I will change how I plan to influence policy change”


“I will contact knowledge brokers to identify policy makers”


“I am going to organise a range of policy impact activities. I will read the book more and apply what is useful.”


“I will be more confident/proactive in terms of presenting my research to relevant policy makers”


“Was good to see some examples and actually start a plan/have a template to act upon/refer to.”


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


"Fantastic handbook. Great, enthusiastic trainer. Thank you very much."


“I love the book and the fact that it was run by a researcher"


“Great course, just as useful as the book. Thanks! Highly recommend.”


"Wonderfully insightful, useful and energising."

Book now


Half-day workshop £1500 +VAT for 30-40 participants

Includes 30 free hard copies of The Research Impact Handbook, worth £29.99 each.


Read our Terms and Conditions.

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