The Department of Psychology has a long-standing tradition of generating real-world impact in the areas of health and quality of life, the justice system, and human factors, as demonstrated our successful submission in REF2014 for impact (73.3% 4*, 26.7* 3*). Since 2014, we have sought to embed impact development much more deeply across all of the research in the Department, through innovation in our structures, policies and incentives. Structurally, this work has profited from joined-up working between the Vice-Principal for Research Impact and Interdisciplinarity, the School Director of Impact, and our Departmental Director of Impact (DoI; Ricketts), with impact activities enhanced by designated research administrative support (R&D coordinator). Impact work also benefits from investment into knowledge exchange capacity within Research and Innovation and is showcased via the Royal Holloway website. Research impact is one of the four major areas in which applications for promotion are assessed in the institution; the fact that it is weighted equally to research, teaching and leadership demonstrates its significance. Bids to the College and Departmental pump priming schemes are prioritised if they develop research impacts. Research impact activities are reflected within our Departmental workload scheme.
Impact has been further accelerated via two key objectives:
(i) Provide impact-related training and support for staff. Institution- and School-wide meetings ensure a clear understanding of impact in research staff, complemented by discipline-specific training at Department level targeting key beneficiary groups (e.g., health practitioners, teachers, policy makers, industry partners) and areas of impact (e.g., health, education, legal system, transport). Individualised support from the DoI enables researchers to embed impact from the earliest stages of research planning by identifying non-academic beneficiaries, anticipating potential impacts, and designing activities and mechanisms that maximise the impact of findings.
(ii) Use the research group structure to consolidate and extend our impacts. Impact strengths from REF2014 in health and well-being are reflected in REF2021 case studies (Bradley, Pincus), and our ongoing impacts relevant to the legal system have progressed during the period (recognised by Memon’s ESRC ‘Celebrating Impact’ prize in 2017). New impacts have arisen from the Learning, Memory and Attention group, with a case study on literacy included in the REF2021 submission (Rastle) and clear future impacts (Ricketts, Krishnan).