Identifying your research end users, those who are stakeholders, i.e. groups, organisations or segments of society who directly use your research at any stage, as well as those who are beneficiaries from your research outcomes, is a crucial part of achieving impact. Stakeholders and beneficiaries need to be identified early in the planning process, in tandem with Identifying your goals.
Consider the full diversity of groups that might be affected by your research in any way, positively or negatively: those who will be benefitted and those it might negatively impact; and those who will directly use your research or will benefit from the outcomes of your research. It will be helpful to consider the effects on stakeholders and beneficiaries ahead of time in order to develop strategies to promote the benefits and mitigate the disadvantages for the different research end-users. Also consider those who might not be otherwise affected by the research but could potentially have a positive affect on the research if brought on board.
Determine the best strategy to manage your research end-users by mapping out and prioritising all of your stakeholder groups based on their potential influence on and interest in your research.
The following steps build upon those in the previous sections and cover aspects of the process in greater depth.