Network in action

The role of the Network

Funding agencies are increasingly interested in the contribution research makes to society and the economy. Enhancing the impact of research beyond that achievable by individual projects is the primary aim of the ARCC network. Potential beneficiaries include policymakers and practitioners in central and local government, industry, academia and business.

  • Our evaluation case studies highlight network activities and approaches that promote the use of evidence and help share learning.
  • Outputs from across the ARCC network have been incorporated into policy and practice. We also provide coordinated responses to formal government consultations.

Demonstrating and enhancing these impacts is an important part of our work, and includes:

  • Establishing and sustaining relationships with end users
  • Ensuring outputs and evidence are relevant to those users
  • Timing outputs to coincide with users’ timetables

Knowledge exchange (KE) describes the exchange of information, ideas and expertise between researchers and stakeholders. Guidance is available from research councils and their funded programmes:

The ARCC Network helped Living with Environmental Change (LWEC) to develop KE guidelines for their partnership initiatives. They include advice in eight areas: Target, Design, Engage, Facilitate, Share, Impact, Sustain and Evaluate.

Collaborative research

Collaboration between researchers and stakeholders adds significant value to a project and results in more effective outputs. However, differing motivations, timescales and expectations can increase the gap between academic understanding and practical application. By sharing learning and good practice from successfully integrated projects, we can help future programmes make the most of researcher and stakeholder collaborations.

Our guide to the collaborative process is based on the experiences of ARCC stakeholders and researchers from a range of projects.

The report concludes that a flexible, open working relationship, established early and sustained throughout the project lifetime, is essential. So too is investing time and energy in understanding the values, expectations and contributions of all parties.

  • Collaborative research – lessons for researchers, stakeholders and funding agencies: summary report (pdf, 1.4 MB)
  • Collaborative research: full report (pdf, 430 KB)