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Action for Impact is an exciting training opportunity for academics at Northern Accelerator universities, enabling them to develop the personal, societal and commercial impact of their research.

Do you want to make a positive change in society with your research skills and knowledge?

Become part of a growing network of like-minded academics developing the skills to realise real-world impact from their research.

This established programme is available to researchers at all Northern Accelerator partner universities.

Working with world-class facilitators and experts in researcher development, you’ll develop an innovative mind-set and enterprising approach.

Action for Impact is primarily aimed at early career researchers, however it is open to any academic with an interest in developing the skills to realise impact from their research.

Due to the ongoing situation with Covid-19, Action for Impact is now delivered online. Both the format and the content have been adapted to reflect the situation and we’re confident researchers will still gain fantastic and long-lasting benefits! Read the FAQs below to find out more about Action for Impact Online and apply for the next cohort by completing this short form before noon on Thursday 10 December 2020.

Frequently asked questions

Researchers from Durham, Newcastle, Northumbria and Sunderland Universities can apply for the next cohort of Action for Impact by completing this short form. Applications must be received by noon on Thursday 10 December 2020.

We wanted to make Action for Impact as accessible as possible, bearing in mind the many responsibilities people have at the moment and the working environment we’re in. So most of the learning is available as pre-recorded video content released in modules. You can access this learning at a time that suits you best.

It is important that you are available to join the live discussion groups too though, as this is where you’ll build on your own ideas and really bring the learning to life, as well as becoming part of a strong cohort of learners, building a network of like-minded researchers.

If you’re not able to attend the live discussion groups, please consider applying for a future cohort when dates are released. We currently intend to run courses throughout 2020 until spring 2021.

Action for Impact is primarily aimed at early career researchers, however it is open to any academic from Durham, Newcastle, Northumbria or Sunderland universities, across any discipline.

Week One:
Pre-recorded content will be released via the course virtual learning environment for you to access at your convenience.

The following week you will take part in the first of our 90 minute live discussion groups with week one’s trainers. You’ll cover Personal Impact with Dr  Simon Brown, world class researcher development expert and specialist, centred on self efficacy and positive change making. Dr Victoria Mountford Brown will then take you through the researcher canvas, allowing you to consider your research and its societal impact.

Week Two:

Pre-recorded content will be released.

The following week you will join the second live discussion group with week two’s trainers. You’ll consider ‘Building Impact’ with guest facilitators from the award winning support hub Sunderland Software City, and SciComms and storytelling expert Duncan Yellowlees, providing a focus on persuasive pitching and engaging your audience.

Week Three:

Pre-recorded content will be released.

The following week the final discussion group will take place.

You’ll be guided through ‘Making Impact, being noticed and taking action’ with Jeni Smith, nationally recognised leading expert in networking for knowledge exchange, both online and face to face. We’ll also take you through putting together an action plan that’s meaningful and purposeful for you personally and professionally.

All resources will be provided throughout. All sessions are interactive, focused on building a supportive cohort in a positive researcher community and all at a pace that considers our new working environments.

Duncan Yellowlees will share his top tips for working, communicating and presenting online content which is vital during the current working circumstances.

Jenny Brady will take you through a proven action planning tool to help you choose and commit to your next best steps.

There will also be one to one coaching appointments available for you to speak with the course lead and discuss any issues or share any successes you may be having.

At the end of the workshop participants will be able to:

  • Consider and evaluate their innovative capabilities in relation to being an effective researcher
  • Build and develop a useful networks of peers and experts to help guide their next steps
  • Articulate innovative, novel ideas
  • Action plan to explore the feasibility of ideas including testing and costing
  • Understand how to create Impact Projects to maximise the spread and value of research findings
  • Understand and explore opportunities for Knowledge Transfer Partnerships (KTPs)
  • Use a suite of tools for creative thinking and project management
  • Understand some of the necessary steps in creating sustainable social impact projects
  • Present and pitch credible ideas and solutions to challenging issues
  • Understand what next steps to further an idea that they intend to have notable impact in their chosen form (personal / commercial / research/ societal etc)
  • Understand the difference between a good idea and a commercially viable business idea
  • Understand costs and benefits of Intellectual Property protection and how to implement this
  • Demonstrate commercial awareness and basic skills associated with translating a technology idea into an innovative product or service
  • Be able to develop a model for an opportunity and potential solution to a genuine problem

Participants will complete the course feeling ambitious and focused and we want to support you to go on to make an impact with your research.

Specific support and follow-up funding opportunities will vary at each university and between faculties, and you’ll be signposted to where you can find out about future support at your own university.

No – the course is designed to provide scope for development of existing or new ideas.

We focus on encouraging researchers to evolve their innovative and enterprising behaviours, in order to maximise their personal and research impact. This allows you to consider challenges you’re addressing, and become capable of realising the commercial, economic and societal impact of your research.

Action for Impact is a fully funded programme so there’s no cost to you as a participant.

Northern Accelerator has partnered with Action for Impact, providing funding to make the course available to researchers from all disciplines across all four Northern Accelerator universities.

We’ve joined the existing funders which include the Engineering & Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC), Economic & Social Research Council (ESRC), Medical Research Council (MRC), Wellcome Trust and National Productivity Investment Fund (NPIF).