Engagement and impact

Engagement and impact

What is Engagement and Impact?

The Australian Research Council (ARC) has introduced a national impact and engagement assessment, which will examine how universities are translating their research into economic, social and other benefits and encourage greater collaboration between universities, industries and other end-users of research.

In June 2017 Macquarie University participated in the pilot and provided feedback to ARC. In November the draft Engagement and Impact Guidelines were issued for consultation feedback by 17th November, 2017.

For EI 2018, university performance is assessed in each discipline using a small suite of quantitative indicators and narratives for engagement, and a narrative based study for impact.

The Unit of Assessment (UoA) is the two-digit Field of Research (FoR) at the institution, with the following exceptions:

The FoR 11 Medical and Health Sciences is divided into two groups—Biomedical and Clinical Sciences, and Public and Allied Health Sciences—due to the diversity and high volume of research covered by this FoR.

Institutions may submit one interdisciplinary impact study for impact assessment only.

Institutions may submit one Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander research impact study for impact assessment only.

There are three separate ratings per Unit of Assessment (UoA)—one for engagement and two for impact (with the ‘approach to impact’ and impact example rated separately).

EI 2018 uses a low volume threshold to determine if an institution must make a submission for a UoA. The low volume threshold is 150 weighted outputs (1 book counts as 5) based on an institution’s relevant submission to ERA 2018.

If a UoA does not meet the low-volume threshold, and an institution considers that there is sufficient evidence in the UoA for it to be assessed for engagement or impact, it can choose to opt-in to either or both.

The low volume threshold does not apply to the interdisciplinary and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander research impact studies. These are both opt-in.

The engagement submission comprises:

  • ERA 2018 data
  • additional submitted indicator data
  • narratives that contextualise the data and may include additional metrics.

EI 2018 includes both an engagement indicator explanatory statement and an engagement narrative. The single rating for engagement is based on the indicators and the narratives, which are assessed holistically. The use of a combination of metric indicators and narratives allows maximum flexibility in the methodology to accommodate differences across different disciplines.

The impact submission takes the form of qualitative studies, which describe the impact that resulted from research and the ways in which institutions facilitated the translation of the research into impact (approach to impact). Each element, that is the impact and the approach to impact, is rated separately.  

The EI submission period is 17 May - 18 July 2018.

 For more information on Engagement and Impact click here to view ARC updates.

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