Impact Evaluation and Measurement

Evaluating and measuring the effect of engagement and enterprise activities and interventions throughout the research project lifecycle is crucial to delivering research impact. 

For both the UK Research Excellence Framework and the Knowledge Exchange Framework, quantitative and qualitative evidence is needed to demonstrate the change that has resulted from the research.

There is no single approach or tool for conducting impact evaluations. The approach taken will depend on what you want to achieve and the type of evidence you think you might need. It is recommended you consider the best approach for your research at the outset if the project.


Knowledge Mobilisation Tools (Research Impact Canada) Theory of Change Resources (Centre for Theory for Change) Collecting Research Impact Evidence (Vertigo Ventures)
Impact Case Studies (Research Excellence Framework 2014) Resources for Evaluating Public Engagement (NCCPE) Communicating Your Research Toolkit (The Health Foundation)

Reading List

Grant, Brutscher, Guthrie, Butler, and Wooding. 2010. Capturing Research Impacts: A review of international practice. Santa Monica, CA: RAND Corporation, 2010.

Gunn & Mintrom. 2017. Evaluating the non-academic impact of academic research: design considerations. Journal of Higher Education Policy and Management. 39:1, 20-30. DOI: 10.1080/1360080X.2016.1254429

Vincent Mitchell. 2019. A proposed framework and tool for non-economic research impact measurement. Higher Education Research & Development. 38:4, 819-832. DOI: 10.1080/07294360.2019.1590319

Reed, Bryce, and Machen. 2018. Pathways to policy impact: a new approach for planning and evidencing research impact. Evidence & Policy: A Journal of Research, Debate and Practice. 14: 3, 431-458. 

Sreenan , Hinrichs-Krapels, and Pollitt et al. 2019. Impact by design: Planning your research impact in 7Cs [version 1; peer review: 2 approved with reservations]. Emerald Open Research. 2019, 1:18 DOI:

Tsey, Lawson, Kinchin, Bainbridge, McCalman, Watkin, Cadet-James and Rossetto. 2016. Evaluating Research Impact: The Development of a Research for Impact Tool. Public Health. 4:160. DOI: 10.3389/fpubh.2016.00160

Wilkinson. 2019. Evidencing impact: a case study of UK academic perspectives on evidencing research impact. Studies in Higher Education. 44:1, 72-85. DOI: 10.1080/03075079.2017.1339028