Case Study - Brunel University London

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How Brunel University London Realises Centralised Impact Evidence Capture with the help of Vertigo Ventures

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Brunel University London is a research-intensive University consisting of three Colleges, five Research Institutes, 28 Research Centres and 76 Research Groups. Brunel integrates academic rigour with the needs of society, government, industry and the not-for-profit sector. Through its high-impact, challenge-led, interdisciplinary research projects and effective public engagement, the University delivers creative solutions to global challenges with positive outcomes for the public good.

Brunel has a long history of impact, made prominent in particular by the University’s Health Economics Research Group (HERG) whose research has been meeting healthcare needs since the 1970s. In 1993, HERG began developing the ‘Payback Framework’ to examine effectively the impact or ‘payback’ of health services research. HERG developed this model further in research funded by the NHS in 1998 and in collaboration with RAND Europe in 2004 to examine clinical biomedical research. When in 2011 therefore, HEFCE announced the inclusion of research impact in REF2014, impact was not new to Brunel and the announcement was richly welcomed.

Brunel University London Campus


Brunel University London selects Vertigo Ventures


Impact Case Studies (ICS) prepared for REF 2021


Pieces of evidence stored centrally in EvidenceVault and submitted with the ICS

The Challenge

What was new, however, were the practicalities of collating and capturing the social, cultural, environmental and economic research impact evidence, which can occur over many years, across multiple interlinked projects, adding complexity and the need for timely intervention.

The Partnership

In 2016, Brunel joined other higher education institutions in selecting Vertigo Ventures (VV), whose ImpactTracker now supports the University’s impact strategy providing an effective way to collate impact information centrally.

The cloud-based ImpactTracker™ solution centralises how Brunel stores, organises and manages impact evidence. ImpactTracker supports research projects from the planning stage through to reporting and exporting into various formats, such as for REF or THE Impact Rankings. It also provides access to an exclusive taxonomy of over 3000 impact type indicators that help map the nature of the impact being realised.

Furthermore, integration with Brunel’s existing Symplectic Elements deployment enables research outputs to be seamlessly fed into ImpactTracker projects, where they can be used in case studies and other exports.

Impact has been at the heart of Brunel’s infrastructure for many decades; it is key to our vision and mission. As one of the most international universities in the country, we are home to a diverse community which greatly informs the way in which we work with our non-academic partners. These effective collaborations maximise the impact of our research on communities across the world and demonstrate the good that research can do globally. As we continue to focus on public engagement, local communities and knowledge exchange, we look forward to driving more impact excellence with evidence management support from Vertigo Ventures.

Victoria Schuppert

Research Impact Officer, Brunel University London

In 2021, new public engagement functionality was deployed within ImpactTracker as a result of customer demand. This saw immediate uptake from the Engagement Strategy and Support Unit within Brunel, who now capture their public engagement activities through the platform and tag these onto relevant projects.

The Results

With the collation of all impact projects and evidence managed through a single interface – feeding in existing outputs from Symplectic Elements – Brunel enjoys a centralised impact evidence management experience, with the ability to quickly share and tag evidence from any time and on any medium to associated research activities. This eliminates duplication of effort, makes all relevant information and evidence readily accessible from any location, and guarantees consistency across all activities.

Furthermore, as part of the Steering Group for ImpactTracker and the ImpactEcosystem, Brunel is able to help influence product direction in a way that best supports users. With all technology fully cloud-based and resilient, products are continuously upgraded and augmented with regular new functionality releases which can become instantly available to clients.


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