UCD Impact Case Study Competition - Judging Criteria




How clearly is the impact, or potential impact, communicated?

How have the beneficiaries been engaged with, and what evidence is there that the research contributed to the impact?

How widespread are the impacts, and how important are they to each beneficiary?1

Score: 30% Score: 30% Score: 40%
  • Write concisely, in plain English, avoiding technical jargon. Stay within the word limit.
  • Outline the beneficiaries (e.g. individuals, communities, government bodies, organisations, businesses, environments, animals). Be as detailed as possible.
  • Describe, with evidence, how many beneficiaries there are. Are the impacts at a local, regional, national or international level?
  • Detail the impacts and categorise according to type (cultural, economic, educational, environmental, health, political social, technological). Don’t confuse outcomes for impacts.
  • Describe how you helped foster impact by engaging with the beneficiaries (e.g. via public presentations, media, steering groups, stakeholder workshops, white papers, consultation responses).
  • Describe, with evidence, the intensity of the impact. How meaningful or valuable is it to each beneficiary?
  • Come up with a snappy title that captures the impact (not the research).
  • Include data, metrics and testimonials to corroborate the impact. Convince the reader that your research played a significant role.2 Outline how potential impacts may be captured in future.
  • Describe the time horizons. Are your impacts short-, medium-, or long-term? If possible, give specific timeframes.


1 The reach and significance of the impact should be judged relative to the academic discipline and the scale of the research.

2 Research Impact can be 'conceptual' and does not have to be ‘instrumental’. Conceptual impact, for example, might include evidence of having influenced public debate on an issue, or having better informed policymakers, or having enabled wider thinking about cultural issues. On the other hand, instrumental impact includes more direct effects of research, like specific inventions or changes in the law. Plausible evidence is required to justify both conceptual and instrumental impact. 


Tools and resources to help you plan, capture, communicate and monitor your #ResearchImpact are available in our Research Impact Toolkit.