Impactful research enables changes that make a positive difference to individuals, groups, organisations, and society as a whole (“beneficiaries”). Benefits may include, for example, incremental, minute improvements to the lives of large segments of the population, as well as deep, transformative influences upon the personal or professional lives of small numbers of individuals. The UK Research Excellence Framework prioritises benefits in the reporting of research impacts. At the same time, there are numerous practical and methodological challenges in capturing, measuring and evidencing benefits from research.
Source: Oancea A (2011) Interpretations and practices of research impact across the range of disciplines. Oxford: University of Oxford.