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Supporting REF impact case studies
Online course


Our half day courses are the most popular, but we can also provide most courses as 1 hour, 90 minute and 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 current and previous REF cycle.



Course Description

This session will give you everything you need to generate real-world impacts from your research and communicate them in a case study for REF2021. You will learn about practical tools to time-efficiently increase the significance and reach of your impact. Learn from some of the latest research on what made top scoring case studies in REF2014, based on linguistic analysis. Bring your own questions, discuss case studies from your institution and learn how the sector is raising its game for REF2021, based on insights from Prof Mark Reed, who is training and reviewing case studies across the sector. The training is based on the latest research evidence and takes a unique relational approach to deliver wide-reaching and lasting impacts. As part of the session you will receive your own copy of the second edition of The Research Impact Handbook

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 which stakeholders and publics to engage with first.

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

  • Find out what made a 4* impact case study, based on research into high versus low-scoring cases in REF2014, and how expectations are changing for REF2021.

  • Bring along your draft case study with specific questions or just join the debate in an impact case study surgery session.

  • Learn how to track, evaluate and evidence impact, discovering time-efficient ways to keep track of impacts as they arise, design an impact evaluation that convincingly attributes impacts to your research and consider how you can turn evaluation findings into citable evidence for REF2021.

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. When you book a half day course (or equivalent in shorter courses), you receive 30 free hard copies of the book, in addition to the PDF version (and where available an audiobook version) for every participant.

  • 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.

  • All sessions are highly interactive, making use of break-out rooms, the chat function and polls, alongside plenary discussion.


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?

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!"

"Discussing actual case studies with possible ratings was very useful"


"I will take a more strategic approach to impact management and case study preparation"


"I will use todays feedback on case studies and apply it to my own"


"I have a better idea of how to draft a case study"


"I will think about impact more creatively"


" I will use tools to be more systematic/effective in delivery and gathering impact data"


"I will be more active in collecting concrete evidence"


Book now


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


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:

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