Our Work

Making an Impact / Engaged Research

Civic and community engagement impact relates to the benefit higher education makes to society.

Campus Engage offer the following supportive framework for all Irish Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) to set about planning, measuring, or collecting information on impact. The purpose is to assist HEIs to set baseline figures, or key performance indicators and is non-prescriptive, just a supportive Guideline.

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Engaged Research

Engaged Research

Engaged Research describes a wide range of rigorous research approaches and methodologies that share a common interest in collaborative engagement with the community. It aims to improve, understand, or investigate an issue of public interest or concern, including societal challenges. Engaged research is advanced with community partners rather than for them. ‘Community’ refers to a range of public research stakeholders, including public or professional service and product users, policy makers, civil and civic society organisations (CSOs) and actors (Engaged Research: Society and Higher Education Working Together to Address Societal Challenges, Campus Engage, 2017).

There are a number of indicators of qualitative and quantitative evidence of impact, some of which are provided below.

Evidence and Impact

Quantitative Data:

  • Numeric data, figures, percentages, proportions
  • Monetary amounts, funds, budgets
  • Targets, projections, estimations
  • Comparisons, benchmarks
  • Data analytics

  • Grants, awards
  • Participant, audience, visitor involvement
  • Test/exam results
  • Workload/time allocation
  • Attitudinal surveys

Qualitative Data:

  • Case studies, including impact
  • Contextual information: what, where, why, who and how of engagement
  • Demographic details: communities and audiences
  • Institutional documentation: strategies, plans, policies, reports
  • Partnership agreements/guidelines/compacts
  • Resources/materials/toolkits/websites/templates
  • Stories of impact from students, staff and communities

  • Measures of Esteem/Feedback: Evaluations from students, staff, communities
  • Attitudinal surveys
  • Interviews/focus groups
  • Blogs, video, audio, podcasts
  • Awards
  • Reports
  • Participant stories and narratives
  • Process details and charts
  • Reflective writings

Provide data and examples (e.g. statistics/numbers/case studies/stories) on/of:

  • Number of active engaged research projects
  • Income generated by successful engaged research projects
  • Number and reach of engaged research publications (alt/bibliometric)
  • Number of engaged research grey literature / public information publications
  • New skills and competencies generated by engaged research findings
  • Number of new products /patents generated by engaged research findings
  • Number of new capacity building programmes developed/licensed/revised based on engaged research evidence and qualitative impact
  • Number of modules/courses/training days provided to build staff capacity in engaged research methods
  • Numbers and examples of initiatives to promote Responsible Research and Innovation (RRI)
  • Number of new or revised public services based on engaged research evidence
  • Number of media debates highlighting new research evidence and informing public debate

  • New or revised public policy based on engaged research evidence
  • Number of official engaged research partnerships
  • Engaged research partnership rating (experiences and reported benefits and impacts to society)
  • Number and impact of events showcasing institutional engaged research activity
  • Number and impact of activities which build and improve institutional and community capacity to develop projects/conduct participative and engaged research
  • Social media metrics: analysis of social media discussion and media coverage
  • Number of online and offline media activities: Podcasts, open source materials, MOOCS
  • Number of public lectures based on engaged research findings.
  • Open Access initiatives, including greater accessibility and usability of datasets
  • Use of tools to measure attitudinal/capacity/competency changes.