A renowned scientist in the area of malaria drug discovery has put her own research journey under the microscope to demonstrate how she tracks the impact her research, hoping that it inspires early career researchers and seasoned academics to do the same.
In a recently published article in Nature Careers, Professor Katherine Andrews, Director of the Griffith Institute for Drug Discovery, said it was not easy to demonstrate research impact, even in her relatively ‘translational’ field of malaria drug development.
“The past five years has seen a dramatic change in the academic research community, with funders increasingly requiring explicit demonstration of research ‘impact’ in addition to traditional metrics such as publications, journal quality and funding success,” Professor Andrews said in the article.
“While definitions vary, the motivation behind this shift is keeping the end-use of our research in mind, whether by improving human health, changing policy, creating economic or social benefits, or through education and capacity building.”
With the support of the Association of Australian Medical Research Institutes (AAMRI), Professor Andrews developed a downloadable template for researchers to compile their Impact CV.
AAMRI welcomed the Impact CV Template as a tool for the sector, after recently competing The Research Impact Project in conjunction with their members.
The Research Impact Project developed a standardised framework for medical research institutes to measure the impact of their research and its contribution towards knowledge, society, health and the economy.
Researchers can reflect on the types of impact they’ve achieved via their research, such as:
- Advancing Knowledge
- Research Capacity Building
- Informing Decision Making
- Health Impacts
- Economic Impacts
- Social Impacts
- and Impact Practises.
Professor Andrews cited a lack of robust frameworks for documenting evidence of impact as her inspiration for addressing the problem to create an Impact CV, gaining inspiration from AAMRI research in generating a template for other researchers to utilize.
“My Impact CV is a distinct document from my traditional CV,” she said in the Nature Careers article.
“Whereas the former focuses on my career in Australia and Germany, funding, publications and teaching and mentorship roles, my Impact CV is where I gather evidence that I can use to build impact stories targeted to different audiences, including funders, promotion and award committees, donors and community members.
“By using my Impact CV to document how my research impacts others, both directly and indirectly, I can now better articulate that the passion I have for my research and community engagement makes a difference to people’s lives.”