The Research Impact Special Interest Group (RI-SIG) has been set up to provide support for research managers involved in developing an impact culture, embedding impact strategies, engaging with end-users or playing any other role with an aim to assist researchers to maximise the impact of their research.

Economic, societal and environmental impact, or the ‘non-academic’ impact of research, is becoming increasingly important to Australasia’s research ecosystem. In New Zealand in mid-2017 the Ministry of Business Innovation & Employment kick-started a national dialogue by publishing the discussion paper ‘The Impact of Science’ to begin to define impact and the implications of an impact agenda for the science system. Meanwhile, Australia piloted the impact and engagement assessment exercise run by the Australian Research Council and launched a national assessment alongside Excellence in Research for Australia 2018. But the concept of impact is still relatively new to researchers who might see the introduction of this focus as a threat to their academic freedom. Care and consideration is needed by Universities and Research Managers to develop an impact culture and strategy that is embraced by the Australasian research base.

The RI-SIG will:

  • share knowledge and good practice (with a focus around impact resourcing, support and strategy)
  • facilitate networking between members of this emerging specialism within research management
  • identify learning and professional development needs
  • act as voice to respond to specialist consultations
  • work with the Research Information and Reporting SIG to provide support for both impact development and impact reporting
  • connect with the international impact sandbox Research Impact and Stakeholder Engagement (RISE)
  • ultimately lead towards developing a positive research impact culture within Australasia.

The ARMS member’s portal will be used for discussion and to share information. We expect to meet on an annual basis at the ARMS conference, as well as having a number of virtual or regional meetings and/or events.

The RI-SIG Convenors are Faith Welch, University of Auckland and Catherine McElhone, University of Technology Sydney. To contact the Convenors please email

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