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Fast Track Impact

The podcast for researchers who want to be more productive and achieve real-world impacts from their research. Every week, Mark Reed gives you practical tips and discusses how you can enhance the impact of your research, based on the latest research.

Weekly hand curated podcast episodes for learning

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How to become influential on social media: in conversation with @CECHR_OuD

In this episode, Mark interviews the brains behind @CECHR_OuD to reveal how she reached 87,000 followers in four years, currently growing at 150 followers per day, to become one of the most influential research institutional Twitter accounts in the world.Mark also describes six things you can do to grow your influence on social media:Have a social media strategy: know your audience, add value to them and actively promote your researchFocus on Twitter (and LinkedIn if you’ve got time)Be credible: be professional and link to content​Be visual: stand out from the crowdTweet at the right time: audience time zone and engagement peak timesCurate your top 3 tweets and have a follow/unfollow strategyThe Centre of Environmental Change and Human Resilience (CECHR) is a partnership between the University of Dundee and the James Hutton Institute. Find out more about their work.

24mins

14 Jun 2019

Rank #1

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Stop wasting your time online: get a social media strategy

In this episode, Mark walks you through seven questions that will give you a social media strategy to power your research to impact:What do you want to achieve through social media?Who are you trying to reach through social media and what are they interested in?How can you move from a “lurker” to a content maker?Who can you work with to make your use of social media more efficient and effective?How can you make your content actionable, shareable and rewarding for those who interact with you?How can you monitor and evaluate your social media plan?How does your social media strategy contribute towards your wider impact strategy?Download your own social media impact template at. www.fasttrackimpact.com/resources

30mins

14 Jun 2019

Rank #2

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What is motivating people to engage with your research

In this episode, Mark explores the range of reasons why people engage with research.He describes research in which he asked the​ people who had engaged with researchers what had motivated their engagement, and these were the most common reasons people cited:Accessing future funding and new business opportunitiesDeveloping new solutions to old problemsIncreasing personal impact/influence through collaboration with researchersIntrinsic motivation to “make the world a better place” or a desire to learn about the issues being researched.Bear these motives in mind, and see if you can work out which of these motives apply to the people you want to work with. By tapping into their motives, and explaining clearly how working with you can achieve what they want, you are much more likely to get the level of engagement you want.

15mins

14 Jun 2019

Rank #3

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Evidencing impact (part 1)

This week, Mark reads from his forthcoming co-authored paper on evaluating impact, providing new definitions of research impact, reach and impact evaluation, an overview of national impact evaluations around the world, and a discussion of different ways of demonstrating causality between research and impact. He concludes by introducing the impact evaluation typology and methodological framework, which he will cover in part 2 next week.

54mins

4 Dec 2019

Rank #4

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How to achieve more as a researcher by doing 80% less work

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23mins

14 Jun 2019

Rank #5

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How to write a book in a week (and a sneak peak behind the scenes of writing the Research Impact Handbook

In this episode, Mark gives you a sneak peek behind the scenes of his new book, The Research Impact Handbook​ and tells you how you can write a book in a week.Key points:Reasons why you might choose to self-publish your next book, rather than going with a traditional academic publisher (or not).The personal story behind The Research Impact Handbook, including the sentence that breaks a lifetime of silence and shame.How you can write a book in a week by breaking the task down into manageable tasks that can be compiled into a book easily, in just a week.The key is to confront your fear of putting something imperfect into the world and receiving criticism, and start putting out things that are "good enough" and improving and extending your work progressively - what Jeff Ollson calls "the slight edge".​

19mins

14 Jun 2019

Rank #6

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Finding your research impact success network

In this episode,​ Mark discusses how you can build a network of people who can empower you to have the impacts you want.

14mins

14 Jun 2019

Rank #7

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7 things we could all do that would instantly improve our career

When did you last think about what you could do to enhance your career, make things easier for yourself or enable yourself to do new and exciting things you can’t currently do? What can you do to enable those around you to develop their careers? A new Researcher Development Concordat means UK research funders are increasingly going to ask us to make substantive investments in researcher development, and it should already make us start thinking about the expectations we should have of ourselves and our employers, so we start prioritising our own growth and the growth of those we’re responsible for. Find out more including examples of what Universities are already making available to their researchers across the sector on the Vitae website.

45mins

11 Nov 2019

Rank #8

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Celebrating your unsung impacts

Announcing the winner of the Unsung Impacts prize! Listen to inspiring impacts that will never be celebrated by any University, based on the entries to the Fast Track Impact Unsung Impact Prize 2019. Read the article with images of the unsung impacts.

22mins

5 Nov 2019

Rank #9

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Generating significant and original research using the poet Keats’ creative process

We’re all familiar with the publish or perish mantra, but for many of us it is less about the number of publications we produce, and more about their quality. The need for rigour goes with saying, but we are all striving for that one significant, original contribution that changes our discipline forever. In this episode, Mark uses the creative process of the poet, John Keats, to explore an unusual approach to pushing research beyond the current cutting edge.

33mins

9 Oct 2019

Rank #10

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Is your disciplinary label holding you back? How to re-invent your career to find and express your authentic self

How do you introduce yourself to others, and what do the labels you choose say about you? How do these labels influence how others perceive you? In this episode, Mark explores the many labels we can all choose from when someone asks us “what do you do?”, to show that we all have multiple authentic identities we can project to the world. He then describes three ways of thinking more deeply about these labels, so we can re-invent ourselves in ways that feel more authentic: integrating labels, re-labelling and transcending labels. Labels are important as we discover who we are and learn our trade, but if we allow ourselves to be defined by our labels, we will never grow beyond the expectations created by the labels we identify with. Hold your PhD or job description lightly if you want to be freed from the tyranny of everyone's expectations and the weight of your ego's demands, so you can transcend all the labels to become more authentically you than you ever thought possible.

36mins

29 Sep 2019

Rank #11

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Managing competing goals to maintain motivation and productivity

Few of us have enough time to do all the things that are expected of us, and when we have more goals than we can achieve we will trade them off against each other in different ways. When we get it wrong, this can lead to important things never being done. But when we get it right, we can increase our focus and motivation and do incredible things with our limited time. This week Mark works through a paper on multiple goal theory to unpack some of the core lessons from his book, The Productive Researcher. You will understand how your many goals interact and why you prioritise certain things over others. By understanding this, you will be empowered to make clearer decisions as you prioritise your workload, and be happier with the work you do - and don’t do. Unsworth et al. (2014) Multiple goals: A review and derivation of general principles. Journal of Organizational Behavior 35: 1064-1078.

44mins

18 Sep 2019

Rank #12

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Valuing failure (Part 2)

This week, Mark continues to reframe failure as something that deeply affirms our values and leads to greater meaning and contentment. In part 2, he thinks about how we step back, withdraw from the fight and change tack, drawing on a philosophy of pessimism. This views challenge as a psychological necessity that makes us feel more fully alive, rather than constantly looking forward to a time when there will be no suffering or being nostalgic for a lost time before our challenges began. Academic life is full​ of rejections, but this episode will help you transform your view of failure to become more resilient.

28mins

22 Jun 2019

Rank #13

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Valuing failure (Part 1)

This week, Mark explores how you can reframe the failures and rejections that are part of everyday academic life as something that deeply affirms our values and leads to greater meaning and contentment. In part 1, he focuses on how we pick our battles and choose to do things that are high risk but high reward in terms of expressing our values, and how to know when to stop fighting a losing battle in line with our values. Read some of the tweets quoted at the start of the episode.

28mins

22 Jun 2019

Rank #14

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Using social media to build engagement throughout the research process - interview with Jane Mills and Jasmine Black

This week Mark interviews Jane Mills and Jasmine Black from CCRI at University of Gloucestershire about how they are using social media to generate research impact. They discuss how to build stories and engagement throughout the research process (including before findings are available), how to break into stakeholder networks on Twitter and how to use case studies to evaluate, communicate and build impact online. Read their paper: Mills, J, Reed, M, Skaalsveen, K and Ingram, J The use of Twitter for sustainable soil management knowledge exchange.

26mins

22 Jun 2019

Rank #15

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Creativity from dark places - how to find new depths of creativity by seeking challenge, procrastination and the irrational

This week Mark considers how we can harness creativity in the research process to derive original insights, and shows how some of the best new ideas arise from the greatest personal and professional challenges. He outlines five practical methods for finding new depths of creativity by embracing and exploring the places we tend to avoid.

45mins

22 Jun 2019

Rank #16

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Managing power in meetings and workshops: Part 2

In this second part, Mark discusses a range of practical methods for managing power in meetings and workshops, including methods for opening up the discussion and exploring, methods for analyzing​ and methods for closing down discussion and making decisions.

47mins

22 Jun 2019

Rank #17

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3 ways to overcome imposter syndrome

This week Mark shares three ways to overcome imposter syndrome, based on his own experience battling feelings of inadequacy as a researcher. The first solution is to re-calibrate how you judge yourself to reframe your worth based on your values. The second solution is to re-balance your internal, invisible power with the external, visible power that is given to you by the world. The third solution draws on the previous two to create equally credible, evidence-based alternative narratives to your imposter syndrome narrative.

48mins

22 Jun 2019

Rank #18

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Learning about impact from your teaching and evaluating pedagogical impacts

This week, Mark considers how you can learn from your experience in the lecture theatre to become more effective in your generation of impact, and how impact can inspire better learning and teaching. He also considers how you can evidence pedagogical impacts from your research, and design interventions in the classroom that can effect change well beyond the academy.

30mins

22 Jun 2019

Rank #19

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Practical advice on "co-producing" research with the people who will benefit: interview with Dr Karen Laing

This week, Mark interviews Karen Laing, Senior Research Associate and Co-Director of the Centre for Learning and Teaching at Newcastle University. Karen has been studying co-production manuals and is developing her own guide for researchers who want to work more closely with their publics and stakeholders to co-produce research and impact. Find out more about Karen's work.

28mins

22 Jun 2019

Rank #20