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Fast Track Impact wins Royal Society prize for changing research culture

Fast Track Impact was awarded a prize by the Royal Society this week for his work on research impact. The prize was given at the culmination of two years of work by the Society exploring how the UK can promote the cultural conditions that will best enable excellent research and researchers here and elsewhere to flourish in the future. The prize was given at the Royal Society conference, Research Culture: Changing Expectations on 29th October 2018.

​​Prof Reed led one of six teams who pitched to a panel of judges, including Rebecca Endean (Director of Strategy for UK Research and Innovation), Dr Steven Hill (Director of Research at Research England) and Dr Magdalena Skipper (Chief Editor at Nature). Building on his research on impact, he pitched, with Rich Young and Tanya Collavo from Univate, a platform to bring researchers in contact with professionals with important questions, which integrated evidence, training and guidance from Fast Track Impact. The company has trained almost 5000 researchers from over 200 institutions in 55 countries over the last three years, to change how researchers generate and share knowledge so they can change the world.

Prof Reed said, “Love it or hate it, research impact is now a significant part of UK research culture. We need to think more about how to stimulate healthy research cultures that motivate and inspire people to engage with the outside world for a diversity of reasons, rather than just extrinsically incentivising researchers with funding and promotion. When impact is at the heart of a research culture, there are always fresh challenges and ideas, and teams of people who care deeply about what they do.”

The Royal Society is the oldest scientific institution in the world. With Isaac Newton as their president, they published the first ever scientific journal and they have led changes in research culture globally over the centuries.

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