Creating Impact: The Importance of Knowledge Translation and Research Valorisation

Dr. Tamika Heiden
Dr. Tamika Heiden
Dr Tamika Heiden

Dr Tamika Heiden, founder of Research Impact Academy an expert in knowledge translation and research impact, defines valorisation as the process of using research outputs outside academia to create impact. She believes that researchers should work closely with their target group throughout the research process, from project design to delivering relevant outputs that meet their needs. Tamika advocates for the use of workshops and training programs to help researchers and funders capture and communicate the impact of their research.

The Research Impact Academy hosts the Research Impact Summit every year to create awareness around research impact and translation. The summit is led by experts, researchers, practitioners, and influencers from government, policy, and business. It is attended by researchers, funders, research support, and administrators who want to learn more about research impact.

The Academy’s training programs work with researchers, funders, and research support staff to capture and communicate the impact of their research. The Planning a Pathway to Impact training program helps researchers understand the pathway to create impact in their research. The program covers the fundamental principles of knowledge translation, what impact is, and how to create, capture, and communicate impact. The training involves individual thinking, planning, discussing strategies, and obtaining outcomes for issues. At the end of the program, participants have clear goals, know how to build and manage networks, and create a research plan for their pathway to impact.

The workshop program includes identifying potential project stakeholders, choosing an impact type for a project, and determining which indicators and evidence to use for the participant’s impact goals. Trainers presenting the course have expertise and experience in knowledge translation and research impact fundamentals. They understand the researcher’s journey, as well as entrepreneurial and innovative skills.

Tamika acknowledges that Social Sciences and Humanities (SSH) participants have different drivers for taking part in the program. Australian funding agencies do not have a large requirement for supplying SSH impact case studies, so there are fewer SSH researchers requesting training. All training programs need specific examples of other researchers that have created impact from their work, and SSH disciplines have many qualitative metrics that are more difficult to measure.

In conclusion, Tamika defines valorisation as the process of creating impact by using research outputs outside academia. She believes that researchers should work closely with their target group to ensure that their outputs meet their needs.

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