Professor Mark Reed, Director of Engagement & Impact at Newcastle University, has analyzed impact case studies from around the world, and proposes ten types of research impact considering benefits and innovation in a real-world context:
Understanding and awareness – meaning your research helped people understand an issue better than they had before
Attitudinal – your research helped lead to a change in attitudes
Economic – your research contributed to cost savings, or costs avoided; or increases in revenue, profits or funding
Environmental – benefits arising from your research aid genetic diversity, habitat conservation and ecosystems
Health and well-being – your research led to better outcomes for individuals or groups
Policy – your research contributed to new or amended guidelines or laws
Other forms of decision-making and behavioural impacts
Cultural – changes in prevailing values, attitudes and beliefs
Other social impacts –such as access to education or improvement in human rights
Capacity or preparedness – research that helps individuals and groups better cope with changes that might otherwise have a negative impact.
Professor Reed’s book, The Research Impact Handbook, is highly recommended – even required reading – if you’d like to learn more about each of these areas, and how to understand the potential outcomes of your research in each area.