Focus on delivering tangible results that are of real value to as many of your programme’s research users and stakeholders as possible:
- ‘Quick wins’ Delivering a number of useful outcomes as soon as practical (but without compromising the rigour and integrity of your research) will help you gain the respect and secure the ongoing support of stakeholders, enabling your programme to achieve more in the long term. Such outputs might include: synthesis reports, briefings, access to useful data, models and expertise that users did not have before.
- Key ‘influencers’ Identify key ‘influencers’ who are well-connected and have the ability to disseminate research findings widely. Plan how you can work with them to maximise the impact of your research.
- Placements Explore the scope for project leaders and others to undertake placements, fellowships and work shadowing with institutions and organisations likely to use your programme’s research outputs and where there is a strong likelihood that KE may lead to beneficial impacts.
- Funding needs Anticipate whether you may need specific funding for initiatives designed to interpret, synthesise and communicate findings from your programme as a whole or from its component activities. Such initiatives often add enormous value to research outputs, but need to be resourced appropriately. New calls for proposals focusing on this type of activity, ideally already identified in your KE strategy, can be worked up and taken forward at key points during your research programme.
- LWEC objectives Your research programme could achieve greater impact through LWEC by meeting key needs of business and/or society, as identified in the LWEC Partnership’s ‘six challenges’, as well as by answering policy questions and contributing to broader LWEC initiatives such as Climate Change Impact Report Cards.
- Good timing Some research users (especially policy-makers and regulators) may need to receive information and/or advice from your programme to coincide with key points in the policy/legislation development process. In this context, it is useful to plan in advance how you can make meaningful contributions to this process on timescales of (i) days/weeks, (ii) months and (iii) years. Getting the timing of KE right is also crucial to funders, particularly when a potentially controversial area of research is being developed.