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Translating Excellent Research Impact in the Social Sciences into a REF 2021 Impact Case Study - workshop report

Supporting Impact


A key recommendation of the Stern review was to ensure the REF could better capture the multiple and diverse pathways and mechanisms through which impact arises from a body of work, and through which real benefits to the UK and wider world are delivered.

The success of impact in 2014 was demonstrated in the subsequent evaluation activity and highlighted in Lord Stern’s review. HEFCE have taken account of Lord Stern's suggestion (as part of Lord Stern’s independent review), that impact be 'deepened and broadened’ and have increased the impact weighting from 20 to 25 per cent; the overall weightings of the three assessment elements in the exercise are: outputs – 60 per cent; impact – 25 per cent; environment – 15 per cent.

The event, which was hosted by Leeds Social Sciences Institute (LSSI) in collaboration with the LUBS ‘Research with Impact’ Seminar Series, combined intellectual discussion with an opportunity for informal networking.  It was held on Thursday 18th January 2018 in University House, University of Leeds.

This interactive workshop was aimed at staff across the social sciences at Leeds and focused on how to translate excellent research impact into a REF impact case study across Units of Assessment in the social sciences.

It provided participants with an opportunity to hear from ex-panel members and impact case study authors from REF 2014 about their insights and experiences assessing impact in REF 2014.


Presentations were given by:

Professor Nick Plant, Dean of Research Quality and Impact and Michelle Double, Research and Innovation Services
View Nick's presentation

Professor Adam Crawford, Director of LSSI
View Adam's presentation

Professor Emeritus Philip Rees, School of Geography
View Phil's presentation

Professor Emeritus Richard Thorpe, LUBS
View Richard's presentation

Charlotte Haigh, Public Engagement Team
View Charlotte's presentation

Dr Kathryn Watson, Research Impact Manager, LUBS
Dr Ged Hall, OD&PL
Sophia Kennedy, LSSI Impact Acceleration Account Manager
View Kathryn, Ged & Sophia's presentations

 Discussion and Actionable Outcomes

The final session was structured as a question and answer session for participants to discuss what outcomes should arise from the event and who should be responsible for them.  Suggestions were discussed both during the session and submitted after the event.

The notes from the workshop can be accessed here:

Translating Excellent Research Impact Workshop Notes