SGSSS Impact Competition
Applications open Friday 04 March.
The SGSSS Impact Competition gives PhD students across Scotland a chance to reflect on how your research can make a meaningful difference outside of academia.
Why get involved?
Submitting an application will give you a chance to:
- Develop important skills identifying and articulating the impact of your research;
- Reflect on and celebrate the difference that you are making through your work;
- Win up to £500 follow-on funding to further develop the impact of your work!
What counts as ‘impact’?
The SGSSS defines impact using the terms of the ESRC, as the “demonstrable contribution that excellent research makes to society and the economy”. Impact is what comes from engaging collaboratively with different stakeholders about your research.
For the purposes of the SGSSS Impact Competition, this can include:
- An effect on, change or benefit to society and the economy. This includes a positive change on the activity, awareness, behaviour, capacity, opportunity, performance, policy, practice, process or understanding of key beneficiaries;
- The positive academic contribution that excellent research can make to the understanding and advancement of scientific method or theory across disciplines.
Detailed information is available within our Student Guidance. Applicants may be at different stages in their impact journey, and we expect that applications will contain information about realised and potential impacts.
Depending on your year of PhD studies, you can apply for one of the two categories available. Each category has specific assessment criteria which have been created to give you the opportunity to compete with researchers that are at similar stages of their journey to create impact.
- First category: applications are welcomed from any student in the first year of their PhD (or equivalent part-time)
- Second category: applications are welcomed from any student in the second or third year of their PhD (or equivalent part-time)
Who is eligible to apply?
There are two categories, depending on your year of study. Any PhD social scientist in Scotland is eligible to apply for the relevant category, no matter how your research is funded.
- Planned impact: This is designed to showcase potential impact, based on your pathway to impact. This category is open for students in their first year of study (or part time equivalent).
- Achieved impact: This is designed to showcase impact that has already been achieved, at least in part. This category is open for students in their second or third year of study (or part time equivalent).
Where can I find out more?
Please see the Student Guidance for full information about the scheme, including much more advice on the application process.
How to apply
Definitions of Research Impact and Knowledge Exchange
Research impact may be classed as either: instrumental: influencing the development of policy, practice or service provision, shaping legislation, altering behaviour; or conceptual: contributing to the understanding of policy issues, in so doing allowing the reframing of debates; or capacity building: facilitating the building of capacity through technical and personal skill development1.
Knowledge Exchange (KE) is often regarded as a stepping stone to research impact. According to a recent report to ESRC from the University of Cambridge, KE may be people-based or problem-solving; it may take the form of community-based engagement or of commercialisation. It helps to foster ‘co-production’ of knowledge and the ‘co-definition’ of problems. The researcher integrates into a wider system which embraces community groups and networks of professionals, thus creating a research loop, with dialogue taking place as part of the research process2.
- http://www.esrc.ac.uk/research/impact-toolkit/what-is-impact/ (Accessed 2 July 2017)
- Bullock, A. and Hughes, R. (2016) ‘Knowledge exchange and the social sciences: A report to ESRC from the Centre for Business Research’, University of Cambridge, Cambridge.