Right from the start of your research programme, it is essential to develop a clear view of what you need to achieve in terms of KE and to put an appropriate structure in place to realise your aims.
- Goal setting Be clear and realistic about what your research programme aims to achieve, with respect to its high-level, broader impact as well as in purely scientific terms.
- Stakeholder identification Pinpoint who the key users/stakeholders are and consider how these various groups/individuals are likely to benefit from (or be affected by) your research. You can, for instance, harness tried and tested stakeholder mapping and analysis techniques to help this process.
- Programme governance When establishing a management group for your programme, ensure an appropriate balance of researchers and relevant users (i.e. avoid ‘tokenism’). Use this opportunity to gain a clearer overall picture of the key needs and priorities of potential users of your research and of other stakeholders; this information will be of enormous value in enabling you to optimise and refine the KE objectives you set.
- KE Co-ordinator Identify and appoint a KE Co-ordinator for your programme who is either a dedicated KE specialist or someone in the management team with the appropriate credentials (e.g. someone with strong facilitation skills, a good understanding of impact and good relationships with potential research users). Let the LWEC Directorate know who this person is.
- Training needs Pinpoint who, within your research team, needs training to develop the necessary motivation, skills and expertise to ensure that ongoing KE between researchers and users/stakeholders really is achieved.
- Project proposals As your programme develops, ensure that an assessment criterion for project proposals is the extent to which the needs and priorities of research users will be addressed. A two-stage selection process can be used to help refine proposals from a KE perspective.