Research impact training and development support for doctoral students




research impact, doctoral students, supervisors, training, support


This research-in-progress case study in one UK university setting looks at how supportive PhD supervisors are of impact work, what motivates PhD students to access impact support and whether there are barriers to PhD students from carrying out impact plans and what those barriers are.

A mixed-method approach was used to collect quantitative data on student participation in impact training and qualitative data on their thoughts on impact work, supervisory support and motivators and barriers for doing impact work.

Clinical science students found it easier to understand the direct impacts of their work compared to life science students. Over time, students developed a better understanding of the potential impacts of their work. The majority of students discussed their impact with their supervisors but did not discuss time, budget or monitoring plans for impact activities. The majority of students talked about a lack of supervisor support for impact work and a need for better supervisor training. Students identified motivators and barriers for doing impact work.

The study suggests that there is a gap in training and support for doctoral students to develop the societal impact of their research. Impact work helps students to develop skills and experience valued by employers. However, PhD students may not receive impact training as part of their degrees. Supervisors may be unsupportive of PhD students doing impact work because it may distract from core research activities. Based on the study findings, the author has made recommendations for addressing this gap.




How to Cite

Suri-Ogilvie, R. (2024). Research impact training and development support for doctoral students. Journal of Research Management and Administration, 3(1), 202402131.