The report which is now available in English, French, Portuguese and Spanish, is also available for download on multiple databases, including TARA, Campus Engage, Dora Resource Library, ENLIGHT Repository and Research Impact Canada.

From 2020 to 2022, the Trinity Long Room Hub took a pioneering role in Trinity’s research impact agenda by hosting its first research impact officer, Dr Giovanna Lima. Dr Lima focused on the Arts and Humanities as part of a pilot programme with the Office of the Dean of Research to create a Research Impact Unit for the College.

Sarah Bowman (L) and Giovanna Lima (R) launching the Research Impact Framework

Image: Sarah Bowman (L) and Giovanna Lima (R)

The Researcher Impact Framework (RIF), is an open-access guide developed by Dr Lima, and Sarah Bowman formerly of the Office of the Dean of Research and lead of Trinity’s Research Impact Unit pilot. The translations have been done in collaboration with the Research Impact Canada network, Fernando Vannier Borges from University of Coimbra, and Anabel Sanchez-Plaza from the Ecological and Forestry Applications Research Centre (CREAF) in Barcelona.

The RIF continues to gain traction among research communities worldwide by helping to answer a key question: how can researchers demonstrate the value of their scholarly work to audiences both in and outside of academia?

Launched as part of a discussion event in the Trinity Long Room Hub on 12 October 2022, the RIF assists researchers in identifying, recognising, and valuing the multiple activities of academic life by building and communicating a comprehensive awareness of their scholarly labour with accurate impact statements and supporting indicators.

Dr. Lima currently works at Erasmus University Rotterdam delivering strategic approaches to fostering and enabling societal impact in research, education, and engagement at multiple institutional levels. The RIF continues to be disseminated and promoted through various workshops and events, including at the University of Auckland ( October 2023); at Concordia University in Canada (November 2023), and at the University of Galway (February 2024).

Dr. Monica E. Mulrennan, Associate Vice-President of Research at Concordia University detailed her experience of using the RIF following the workshop:

“At Concordia, the RIF has been a game-changer for our Pathways to Impact project, an institutional initiative intended to enhance the impact of our research. The RIF’s flexibility and adaptability is supporting researchers across various disciplines, fields and career stages to develop their unique impact identities and narratives. Leveraging the framework enables them to articulate their contributions and achievements more effectively. This, in turn, is fostering a culture where impact is not an afterthought but a fundamental component of research design and planning. For us, the RIF is more than another tool, it’s a transformative resource.”

Thais Bernos, a Postdoctoral Fellow at Concordia University spoke about how the RIF helped her secure an academic position:

“Next winter, I will be an Assistant Professor in Fisheries Sciences at the University of Vermont. Positions like this one are fiercely competitive and attract many academically excellent candidates. While so many of my early mentors relayed the importance of publishing and competing for funding, the Researcher Impact Framework helped me identify the diverse societal impact of my work and, importantly, provide evidence for impacts beyond the academic realm. This framing proved to be exceptionally beneficial for the specific position, in which I expect to collaborate closely with other research partners, fishery management institutions, and the public. My story also suggests that academic expectations around professors/researchers and their activities might be changing.

Dr Joseph Roche, Director of Research at Trinity’s School of Education has used the RIF and describes it as “an invaluable tool in advancing how we document and communicate the impact of our scholarly work.”

“The framework is not only practical but also adaptable to both disciplines and contexts, making it an essential resource for the academic community. In my experience, the RIF has significantly streamlined the process of creating impact statements, reducing the time and effort required while improving the quality of the narratives. I highly recommend the RIF to any researcher seeking to enhance the visibility and impact of their work.”