Identifying and defining clear goals you wish to achieve is a vital process and underpins a lot of the activities you will engage in toward generating research impact. This process is closely linked with identifying your research end-users and you may wish to complete these steps in tandem.
The first step to develop your impact strategy is to understand what "impact" means for your research. What is your overarching goal? Why are the changes you are proposing important? What benefit will it have to the world, society, the environment and your stakeholders?
It is vital to develop clear and specific goals that are credible, achievable and relevant to the research end-users. Goals should be carefully developed in the context of your whole project, especially how they relate to the research end-users. You should also develop means of evaluating and measuring impact employed in later stages of the project.
Consider: Who else is also working toward achieving your impact goals? Are there any competing interests? If so, how can you collaborate with or partner with them?
One way to thoroughly understand how to create and communicate your impact goals is to study and evaluate best practice examples. Select one of the following case studies and read through the impact summary, which includes the impact goals, then consider the following questions.
The Leicester Hate Crime Project
The Valuing Nature Program's Peatland Tipping Points project