Research engagement is the interaction between researchers and research end-users outside of academia, for the mutually beneficial transfer of knowledge, technologies, methods or resources.

Engagement with researchers benefits the community by bringing much needed expertise to solving complex real-world problems. It improves the health, wellbeing and prosperity of individuals, organisations and communities. 

Engagement with end-users benefits researchers by enabling them to understand and solve real world problems, providing access to research participants and intervention sites, and increasing the competitiveness of their grant applications.

What is a research end-user?

A research end-user is an individual, community or organisation external to academia that will directly use or directly benefit from the output, outcome or result of the research. Examples of research end-users include governments, businesses, non-governmental organisations, communities and community organisations.

EI 2018

The ARC announced the inaugural 2018 Engagement and Impact (EI) assessment outcomes on Friday 29 March.

Of the eight FoR codes ACU submitted in for Engagement, we scored:

  • High for History and Archaeology (FoR 21) and Philosophy and Religious Studies (FoR 22)
  • Medium for Biomedical and Clinical Sciences (FoR 11A), Public and Allied Health Sciences (FoR 11B), Education (FoR 13), and Studies in Human Society (FoR 16)

Examples of Research Engagement

While there are many forms of research engagement, and these vary across disciplines, examples of best practice provided by the ARC following EI 2018 include:

  • Collaboration with industry or research partners, such as:
    • co-location of industry on campus
    • embedded staff or staff exchange
    • industry focused conferences and workshops
    • development of university business units.
  • Public participation (citizen science): collaborating with public volunteers to expand opportunities for the collection of data as well as disseminating scientific information and findings to the public.
  • Providing specialist resources and services to external stakeholders: access to highly specialised equipment, infrastructure and other resources – as well as advice and guidance – providing industry with a market advantage, improving research outcomes and increasing the employability of graduates.

  • Provision of specialist training or trainee programs: provision of training material, training and trainee programs to stakeholders and research end-users (from on-the-ground workers to senior staff, domestically and internationally).

Report Engagement for EI 2021

The reference period for EI 2021 for Engagement is 2017-2019. The reference period for EI 2024 for Engagement will be 2020-2022.

  • Do you involve end-users (industry or community) in your research planning/design?
  • Do you involve end-users in data collection, analysis and interpretation?
  • Do you disseminate findings to end-users (industry and community) via training days, seminars, presentations?
  • Do you share your research with the community via user-friendly research summaries, media stories or other communications?
  • Do you sit on committees or advisory boards, or engage in other activities to share your expertise with partner organisations and communities?

You can start reporting your engagement now by contacting us.

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