Impact Strategy Checklist / Une liste de vérification pour la stratégie d’impact

Most grant applications now require the applicant to describe what the impacts of the research will be and how the applicant (and partners) will create those impacts. We have developed a checklist to assess the completeness of the grant application impact strategy.

La plupart des formulaires de demande de subvention exigent maintenant que les candidats décrivent l’impact prévu de leurs travaux et la manière dont ils entendent, avec leurs partenaires, provoquer cet impact. Nous avons mis au point une liste à cocher qui permet aux candidats de s’assurer que leur stratégie d’impact couvre tous les aspects nécessaires.

Some call it a knowledge mobilization strategy. Others call it a knowledge translation strategy. I like to deconstruct the jargon and just call it an impact strategy. Whatever you call it most grant applications ask applicants to describe not only what impacts will (ok…may) occur but also how you are going to create those impacts. There are lots of great impact planning tools such as Melanie Barwick’s KT Planning Template, the KMb Planning Tool from Centre of Excellence for Child and Youth Mental Health and the Research to Impact Canvas from Kids Brain Health Network (KBHN). All these tools are meant to be used to help prospectively plan an impact strategy.

But what about when you have completed the impact strategy? How are you to assess it once you have completed your strategy? What if you’re a research administrator reading an impact strategy? You also need help to assess the impact strategy.

Well, have we got a tool for you!

Impact practitioners (i.e. knowledge brokers) from York University’s Knowledge Mobilization Unit and the KT Core of KBHN developed an Impact Strategy Assessment Checklist intended to be used after you have planned and written your impact strategy. It takes you through key elements of your strategy: goal(s), rationale, is it SMART, skills/experience, budget and an overall assessment including elements of partners and audiences.

If any of these elements are absent, then the applicant may revisit and revise the impact strategy.

But to manage expectations, many impact strategies might not allow the applicant the space to explain all these elements. A SSHRC Connections Grant requires a one-page knowledge mobilization strategy while a Network of Centres of Excellence impact strategy might be five pages or more. If your impact strategy is shorter it will necessitate a briefer review. We have abbreviated the impact strategy checklist to a one-page Summary Impact Strategy Assessment Checklist where we ask applicants and grant reviewers to write out the answers to questions derived from the overall assessment section of the checklist.

All this assumes you have completed your application and impact strategy well before the deadline and your research administrator has time to provide a full review and provide feedback in enough time for you to respond in a subsequent draft of your application. Be kind to those trying to support your research. If you want a kick ass impact strategy, then don’t hand it in the day before the agency deadline!

For more assistance seek out your local impact practitioner if you are at one of the 17 Research Impact Canada universities.