Engagement & Impact (EI)
EI assesses how well researchers engage with end-users of research. It also assesses how well universities are translating research into impacts beyond academia including:
The inaugural Engagement and Impact Assessment took place in 2018 (EI 2018).
Future EI directions
The ARC has advised that an EI evaluation round will no longer be conducted in 2024.
EI is administered by the ARC as a companion assessment to Excellence in Research Australia (ERA). The ARC is currently developing a plan to transition to a new framework for research evaluation and provide a more modern, data-driven assessment. As ERA and EI are interrelated exercises, ERA changes are likely to impact EI.
The outcomes of the ERA and EI review are expected to be announced in mid to late 2023.
Objectives of EI
- Promoting Engagement and Impact: Rigorously assess research engagement and impact to promote better practice engagement with, and translation of research into benefits for, end-users and the Australian community more broadly.
- Informing Decisions: Provide a rich and robust source of information on the strategies, practices and benefits of university research engagement and impact to inform and support the needs of university, industry, community, and government stakeholders.
- Demonstrating Success: Provide evidence that Australia’s universities are undertaking valued engagement with research end-users, embedding practices of engagement and impact, and producing research with social, economic, environmental, and cultural benefits.
- Enabling Comparisons: Provide a basis for discipline-level comparisons between Australian universities of research engagement and impact performance.
Benefits of EI
EI provides data about university performance in research engagement and impact that:
- allows research managers and institutions to identify high-performing areas
- facilitates strategic planning to further strengthen research engagement and impact in Australian universities
- provides insights and best-practice examples of research impact
- informs research end-users in industry and the community about the strengths of prospective university partners
- helps to identify and promote the contribution that Australia’s universities make to the nation and the world.
Participation in EI has promoted greater support for the translation of research impact within universities. Universities use EI results to promote their strengths in engagement and impact to a range of stakeholders.
How are disciplines defined?
When assessing EI, disciplines are defined as two-digit Fields of Research (FoRs) codes. These codes are identified in the Australian and New Zealand Standard Research 2020 Classification.
Further information about ANZSRC 2020 can be found on the Australian Bureau of Statistics website (Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification).
What do EI outcomes tell us?
EI assesses university performance in research engagement and impact. The assessment is done within each discipline at each university. The EI data is presented in the National Report. This information shows how Australian universities perform in engagement and impact. The narrative case studies are published on the ARC data portal. These case studies highlight the variety of ways universities are approaching engagement and impact across all disciplines. They also highlight best practice examples to assist future planning by universities, research end-users and Government.