Imperial often describes itself as an impact driven organisation and our researchers are motivated by a desire to make a difference in the world and to see research outcomes that benefit society. Our roles as innovators and generators of knowledge, thought-leaders, opinion shapers and engagers, entrepreneurs and future builders all contribute to our local and global impact. With this in mind, the Impact Strategy Working Group has been established in February 2023 by the Vice-Provost for Research and Enterprise to support the development of a specific Impact Strategy for Imperial College London.

As research funders and governments are increasingly seeking evidence that their research investments have generated wider impact, it is important to design a framework that will comprehensively capture impact. Impact strategies have the potential to articulate goals and implement activities to enable research to develop credible and relevant solutions to problems, increase the efficiency of existing systems and processes, and develop tangible new approaches to societal and global health, prosperity and wellbeing. 

However, even with impact strategies in place, concerns have been raised over the potential to communicate aspirations without meaningful follow-through or play into existing instrumental narratives of impact as a way of generating new income streams or climbing league tables. For an Impact Strategy to facilitate impact, specificity of the activities and accountability measurable targets are required. This will enable the strategy to be embedded in the organisational culture to drive real, transformative changes.

Additionally, measuring impact is fraught with complexity, subjectivity and, in many cases, oversimplification, which risks undermining the essential change it aims to achieve. Despite the difficulty of determining what true impact is, there is a consensus on certain metrics that are currently used to assess it, such as the Research Excellence Framework. The Working Group will facilitate an extensive consultation to identify how Imperial should define, measure and enable impact, to include specific goals, measurable KPIs and activities to enable impact.

The Working Group is asked to: 

  • Facilitate a conversation on how to identify impact, activities that can enhance our impact, partnerships which support our ability to extend our reach and influence, and define how best to measure impact and recommend suitable impact targets
  • Consult with internal stakeholders and, where appropriate, external stakeholders, to provide a mechanism for a broad range of views to be heard
  • Recommend a strategy and toolkit to University Research and Enterprise Committee (with the necessary escalation routes) which can guide our definition and approach to Impact

The Working Group’s Impact Strategy will not be research centric, but will utilise a holistic view of impact.  


The Core Working Group is made up of representatives from the College senior leadership, the academic community, student community and relevant professional services.  

  • Vice-Provost (Research & Enterprise), Chair 
  • Amanda Wolthuizen, Director of Public Affairs 
  • Niamh McAuley, Deputy President (Finance and Services), Imperial College Union 
  • Michael McTernan, Head of International Relations Office 
  • Zen Makuch, Faculty of Natural Sciences (Academic Representative) 
  • David Nabarro, Faculty of Medicine (Global Challenge Institute Director)  
  • Claire S. Adjiman, Faculty of Engineering (Academic Representative) 
  • Ramana Nanda, Imperial College Business School (Director Institute for Deep Tech Entrepreneurship)  
  • Anna Shierson, Associate Director of Strategic Planning  
  • Graham Cooke, Vice-Dean (Research), Faculty of Medicine 
  • Robin Grimes, BCH Steele Chair in Energy Materials (Foreign Sec Royal Society) 

Additional internal and external stakeholders will be consulted as required.  

The Impact Working Group will be supported by Emily Roche, Executive Officer to the Vice-Provost (Research & Enterprise).