Fast Track Impact

Check out this new resource for researchers who want to be more productive and achieve real-world impacts from their research.

6 Lessons for First Class Impact

Impact is not about changing the world in a single project, says Julie Bayley, winner of the ARMA 2015 Research Impact Award.

6 Tips include:

  • Connect to the bigger problem – just because you are interested in the topic does not make the need tor further research obvious to all.
  • Connect with the real world – build links (networks) with those who can shape, advise or use your research from early in the process.
  • Connect your activities with your impact goals – impact will not just happen because you are awesome.
  • Connect with people who’ll challenge you  – get some critical friends—colleagues and interested parties—who will force you to think beyond the academic merit of the work.
  • Connect the change to the measure – planning the evidence of impact is far easier when you know what kind of changes you’re looking for.
  • Connect your aims with those of the funders – don’t forget the funder’s aims, especially when you’re rushing to meet a deadline.

This article also appeared in Research Fortnight


Guest Blog: Professor Anne Douglas’ AHRC Funded Research ‘Cultural leadership and the place of the artist’

In this guest blog from Professor Anne Douglas, Gray’s School of Art, Anne explains the significance of her team’s current AHRC funded research Cultural leadership and the place of the artist (2015-16) and emphasises the importance of European collaboration in conducting this research. To see more on this funded work visit:–2015-16/

“Thinking Public”

On the 22nd June, the day before the referendum, RGU Senior Research Fellow, Jon Price, delivered the keynote of European Network on Cultural Management and Policy’s (ENCATC) 6th policy debate focusing on our current AHRC funded research into Cultural Leadership and the place of the artist. ENCATC is one of four partners in our current research On The Edge (OTE)  which also includes Creative Scotland and Clore Leadership Foundation. The debate was attended by a number of prominent figures from arts and culture throughout Europe including a number of policy officers from the European Commission.

Looking back, this was a poignant moment in the UK’s relationship with Europe. It marked one of many extraordinary opportunities to engage in discussion with European partners, widening our horizon of understanding across national borders, expertise and experience. This opportunity for debate now seems remarkably precious.

OTE’s research into leadership in the arts and culture from 2006 onwards has, in all of its three phases, been mindful of the social, cultural and political conditions in which the discourse on leadership has unfolded. The research has evolved in three distinct phases.

The first phase of AHRC funded Artist as Leader research (2006-9) emerged in response to the Cox Review (2005) that had been commissioned to foreground the role of creativity in industrial growth. Critical of the economist and instrumental values of the Creative Industries reflected in that report, our research at the time drew attention to the missing voice of the artist and opened up leadership to a different perspective– What might leadership mean to the arts? Might the experiences of artists enrich and extend the meaning of leadership in new ways?

The second phase, The Discourse of Cultural leadership (2016), Jon’s doctoral study, drew the findings of the Artist as Leader research into a new context in which the rhetoric of growth was now displaced by a new rhetoric of resilience, represented in part through a significant reduction in public funding, particularly to the arts and culture. This economic change required us to think differently about leadership. The artist needed to be placed i.e. imagined in relation to everything else, to be conceived as part of a much greater and more complex cultural dynamic that we had previously envisaged.

To this end Jon has provided us with some key concepts. Drawing on the work of Hannah Arendt, he traces leading as a movement in which there is a beginning that necessitates a following through, or completion. Leadership therefore cannot be atomised in the persona of ‘the strong man.’ It is a process, one that is subject to the boundlessness, unpredictability and plurality of life itself, concepts that Arendt laid out in her key text The Human Condition (1958). The originality of Jon’s thinking lies in tracing the implications of these characterisations for new possible ways of being in civic space in 21st century and its particular conditions.

This brings us to the present. At no point in the history of UK’s politics has political leadership been more absent, along with appropriate civic processes that shape and inform public opinion. What we are currently experiencing is not the kind of fluidity and responsiveness implied by Arendt’s unpredictability, boundlessness and plurality. These demand quality of relationship, of trust and of a certain improvisatory skill in keeping going. In contrast both in the UK and Europe, we are experiencing disintegration of the public sphere and public values.  This constitutes a significant challenge to the third research phase of the research Cultural Leadership and the place of the artist (2015-16) and its remit to disseminate the earlier phases research and further engage public debate on the issues.

Professor Annick Schramme of University of Antwerp’s Management School pointed out in her introduction to the debate on 22nd June that cultural leadership in a European context needs to take account of globalisation, migration and digitisation, all outwardly focused forms of engagement. She noted that in many ways the discourse of leadership has emerged at a moment of crisis in the arts and culture in relation to value. There are few ‘free spaces’ left in which to frame and debate questions of value. Throughout the discussion we became more and more aware of the implicit tension in leadership as a construct – the desire on the one hand to reach out and take risks through pioneering work and, on the other, a counterforce that consolidates and sustains. Leadership in management is frequently defined in terms of the latter, instituting hierarchies that value loyalty over judgement and the subjectivity of individual forms of action.

While these apparently contradictory forces inevitably co-exist and co-constitute public life, Philipp Dietachmair of the Tandem network, revived a sensibility that we can so easily lose sight of. Tandem is an Amsterdam based network funded by the European Cultural Foundation that supports long-term cooperation, knowledge development and networking opportunities between cultural managers across the EU and beyond. Philipp discussed leadership through his experience of co-ordinating small scale projects with Turkey and Eastern Europe, contexts in which, he suggested, we do not have the luxury of not thinking public.

In the shock waves of referendum and post referendum behaviours, we again do not have the luxury of not thinking public.

Our research will continue next week in a second workshop to be held at Bozar, in the centre of Brussels, 12th July 2016, 10.00 – 4.00 pm within Bozar’s current exhibition, Facing the Future Art in Europe 1945-68. It will seek to question the curatorial statement that the year of 1968 “ brought to a close an extremely productive period for a playful, utopian and activist form of art” (author’s emphasis). We will draw on art practices that have emerged since 1968, practices that manifest a leading role in terms of ‘thinking public’ by working within the prevailing conditions and in so doing, create, in quite grounded and practical ways, a new sense of possibility.

The three questions with which Jon ended his presentation on 22nd June are relevant to this new discussion

  • How should training provision for the cultural sector respond to definitions of leadership that go beyond the individual?
  • Can leadership training accommodate questions of social and cultural value as well as organisational effectiveness?
  • How can our policy making cope with unpredictability and create space for the role of the artist in public life?

Anne Douglas is a Professor in Robert Gordon University’s Grays School of Art. Her research re-examines the role of the professional artist as a catalyst for social change, including environmental and economic.

Gold Open Access Publisher Deals for RGU Academics

Did you know that RGU have several deals with publishers to reduce the cost of Article Processing Charges (APC) for Gold Open Access?

Below are a few particularly good ones, for the full list see the RGU Lib Guide here:

It is free for authors to publish under Gold Open Access in any journal that offers Springer Open Choice, though this is first-come-first-serve, as there is a national limit on the number of articles Springer will consider. Once an article has been accepted for publication, corresponding authors can ask Springer to make it Open Access; Springer will contact the Library to confirm the author’s affiliation with RGU. If the author is not the corresponding author, then they can contact the Library directly and we will pursue the Open Access option for them. A complete list of journals offering Springer Open Choice is available here:

Royal Society of Chemistry
We have four vouchers to use by the end of December 2016. Each voucher equates to the publication of one article under Gold Open Access, and can be obtained by contacting the Library at All journals published by RSC offer the ability to use these vouchers. Additionally, the publisher’s flagship title “Chemical Science” is completely free to publish in until the end of 2018. A list of this publisher’s journals is available here:

We have an agreement that all APCs paid to SAGE are capped at £200 per article, though researchers will need to pay this from their grant or own resources. Most journals published by SAGE offer the choice of Gold Open Access (a short list of those that do not is available from the publisher’s website) and some of them are built around mandatory Gold Open Access (a list of these is available from: A complete list of the publisher’s journals is available here:



Funding Opportunity: Data Impact Fellows

UK Data Service Impact Fellows Programme 2016-2017.   The UK Data Service aims to establish additional ways to support the long-range use of its data and resources by new generations of scholars, extending this usage through the research partnerships they develop and by the students they teach – from the earliest stages of, and throughout their career – by establishing a prestigious Impact Fellows programme. Funded by the ESRC the programme aims to provide career development opportunities for scholars at a relatively early stage of their academic careers with a proven record of research.  Find out more

Funding Opportunity: Data Impact Fellowships

UKDSApply to be one of our new Data Impact Fellows

Are you a post-doctoral researcher or PhD researcher based in a UK university? Do you use UK Data Service data in your research with a focus on impact? If so we are offering you the opportunity to be awarded one of five Impact Fellowships.

UKDAFive awards are offered to the value of £2,000 per Fellow and the programme will run over 2 years from July 2016, from which Fellows can draw on a receipt for cost basis to cover impactful public engagement activities such as: holding focus groups, international conference costs or the cost of an article processing charge for a publication.

As a UK Data Service Impact Fellow we’ll help you promote your research through blogging, becoming a data citation practitioner, developing impact case studies and enhancing your profile.

Funded by the ESRC, the programme aims to provide career development opportunities for scholars at a relatively early stage of their academic careers with a proven record of research. Apply here, we look forward to hearing from you.

Resources Impact Fellows #dataimpactfellows2016