Engagement and Impact Assessment (EI)

As part of the development of the first national assessment of research engagement and impact, the Australian Research Council (ARC) will be conducting a pilot exercise. The pilot will be undertaken in the first half of 2017. It will be essential for informing the development and implementation of the first full engagement and impact assessment in 2018, which will run alongside ERA 2018 as a companion exercise.

The aim of the pilot is to test the proposed approach (that is the methodology and processes) for the full engagement and impact assessment. The pilot is not designed to be an end-to-end assessment exercise but instead will be used to test the robustness of a wide range of indicators and methods of assessment of engagement and impact.

A selection of 10 broad discipline groups (Fields of Research) will be tested in the pilot which will enable a spread of disciplines across STEM and HASS to be involved with a minimum of burden. Discipline groups that will be tested by the pilot include: chemical sciences, medical and health sciences, history and archaeology, and philosophy and religious studies, environmental sciences, agricultural and veterinary sciences, engineering, education, studies in creative arts and writing, and language communication and culture.

Engagement and impact will be assessed separately in the pilot. Engagement will involve metric indicators and a narrative statement. Impact will involve qualitative information (impact studies) supplemented with quantitative information if any is available. Engagement and impact data and information will be assessed by panels comprising a mix of academics with discipline expertise and industry representatives and other end-users of research. A review panel will consider the overall methodology.

All Australian universities are eligible to participate and participation is voluntary.

For the purposes of the pilot:

  • research engagement is the interaction between researchers and research end-users (including industry, Government, non-governmental organisations, communities and community organisations), for the mutually beneficial exchange of knowledge, technologies and methods, and resources in a context of partnership and reciprocity.
  • research impact is the contribution that research makes to economy, society and environment, beyond the contribution to academic research.