Research Impact & Engagement

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What does research impact and engagement mean and how is it supported at the University of Melbourne?

In this session we will introduce the multi-faceted framework for research impact that the UoM has begun to adopt to guide strategy and support academics. The session will include a presentation on the findings of a research project on engagement at UoM, sponsored by the Centre for the Study of Higher Education. We will hear some inspiring examples of how impact is understood in the creative and performing arts, and discuss how to construct and narrate research stories outside of academia. Finally, the session will explore the range of supports the UoM is working on building, for academics who want to improve their research impact.



Professor Jenny Lewis, Professor of Public Policy (Social and Political Sciences)


Dr Siew Fang Law

Joann Cattlin

Associate Professor Kenny McAlpine

Dr Jen Martin


Ken Knight


Professor Jenny Lewis is Professor of Public Policy and is the President of the International Research Society for Public Management. She is a Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences Australia, and an expert on policy making, policy design and public sector innovation.

Dr Siew Fang Law, Senior Lecturer and Engagement Lead at Melbourne CSHE. Siew Fang’s academic background intersects peace psychology, conflict transformation and community development, and she has cross-sector and industrial experience consulting with the government, international organisations such as the UN, and non-profit organisations. In her current role, Siew Fang is developing and orgnaising a number of professional development programmes across the university and co-ordinates REIN, the Research Engagement and Impact Network.

Joann Cattlin is a research manager who has bridged the bounds of professional and academic roles across UoM. Her interest in research engagement and impact grew from her experience managing a multidisciplinary ARC Linkage project with 17 partners, which achieved significant impact through extensive stakeholder engagement. Joann is currently the manager for a multi-disciplinary ARC Research Hub and co-ordinates REIN, the Research Engagement and Impact Network.

Associate Professor Kenny McAlpine Since completing a PhD in algorithmic and procedural music composition at the University of Glasgow, Kenny has continued to work at the point where different disciplines collide: he was part of the team that launched the world's first video game degrees; he has developed interactive soundtracks for live theatre, film and video game; produced bagpipe music for the Beijing Olympics, and created a music-streaming app for newborn babies and young children for the Scottish Government and the Royal Scottish National Orchestra. He is passionate about opening up access to our shared cultural heritage, and  has worked with the National Trust in London to build a unique digital harpsichord that allows visitors to play a fragile historic collection with no risk of damage to the originals.

Dr Jen Martin is the Head of Science Communication Teaching Program in BioSciences. Perhaps best known by her Twitter handle SciDocMartin, Jen has taken her background as a field ecologist and has become a leader in the field of teaching scientists how to become effective and engaging communicators. She is a regular on 3RRR radio and on twitter.

Ken Knight is Program Lead, Knowledge Translation & Impact at the Murdoch Children’s Research Institute (MCRI). He has over a decade of experience managing knowledge translation (KT), engagement and research impact programs in health and government. Ken is passionate about partnering with diverse stakeholders to enable greater impact, and facilitating organizational models of impact support. He currently leads a multifaceted program to accelerate the application of knowledge and enhance the impact of research across MCRI and The Royal Children’s Hospital, and is an Honorary Fellow in the Department of Paediatrics at The University of Melbourne. Ken teaches KT, implementation and impact at the University of Melbourne and the Victorian Comprehensive Cancer Centre.

A Researcher Connect event. 

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