International development for impact
Online course


All our courses can be run as 1 hour, 90 minute and 2 hour stand-alone online courses or arranged as a weekly or monthly series. 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.



Course Description

Whether you are experienced or new to working in these contexts, this workshop will give you the opportunity to think about how you can do research that delivers Official Development Assistance (ODA) and lasting impacts. 

  • Learn about evidence-based principles for delivering research impact when you don’t have much time

  • Get advice on how to increase your funding success rates and integrate impact into a competitive proposal from a regular grant panelist

  • Learn how to use tools for identifying international partners, stakeholders and publics, and identifying potential impacts, showing how a Theory of Change can be constructed from the bottom-up, based on impact goals identified in-country

  • Discover tools to track planned impacts as well as opportunistic impacts as they arise

  • Consider how to manage meetings with international (including non-academic) partners and workshops with stakeholders and publics that are efficient and enjoyable. You learn easy-to-use tools to manage power dynamics and deal with difficult individuals and situations, so you can lead with confidence with no training or experience.

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.

  • Two main modes of group interaction:

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

    • Plenary discussion is done via 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 on 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?

View course slides

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What are people saying about this course?

A selection of quotes from feedback forms:

"[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 liked the group discussion as well as the depth and breadth of the information given on GCRF.”


“The discussion about impact and GCRF was particularly useful, with practical stakeholder engagement tools and tips.”


“Advice and insights into fundable impact-oriented research”


“I will change the way I write impact into future GCRF proposals.”


“I will change how I plan to influence policy change through GCRF funded research.”


"The idea of planning for impact is particularly informative and gave me an insight into how I will engage with stakeholders." 


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


"Useful resources provided, and the follow-up emails are a great idea to ensure training is put into practice."


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


“I will look at “impact” from a broader perspective now, not just for REF.”


“It was very well paced – changes in learning style throughout the day was useful.”


“Great practical tips.  Overall much to take away both theoretically and practically.”


“Addition of handbook is very useful, especially tools to build impact into research from the outset i.e. stakeholder analysis for impact plan.”


"Wonderfully insightful, useful and energising."




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

Includes free hard copies of The Research Impact Handbook sent to each participant’s home address. 


90 minute workshops £750 +VAT for 30-40 participants

Includes PDF copies of The Research Impact Handbook. You can add hard copies of the books for your participants at additional cost.


Read our Terms and Conditions.

We've trained >8000 researchers from >200 institutions in 55 countries: