Planning for and Tracking Research Impact: Australian Research Council Framework
Researchers worldwide are increasingly required to report the societal impact of their research as part of national research productivity assessments. Researchers in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities have a particularly high level of expertise in impact, which has grown out of Indigenous people’s determination to take greater control and ownership of research not only to achieve benefits for the communities where the research is done but also to share the lessons with others. As a researcher, the way to prove one’s worth in the research community is to demonstrate research impact. Research impact studies and the methods used to measure and report research impact are still in development. They will change and evolve. What is unlikely to change is the importance of impact reporting. This chapter examines the challenges involved in developing an impact case study for Family Wellbeing Empowerment research in the context of an Australian Research Council research impact assessment exercise. It describes the way researchers need to imagine from the outset the different types of impact their research is likely to have over the short, medium and longer terms, to enable them to plan for and record these data progressively for impact measurement and reporting, whatever form these may take.
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