The School of Geography, Politics and Sociology

Research Impact

Research Impact

Impact and engagement in Geography at Newcastle

Impact and engagement have an integral place in research in Geography at Newcastle. We are a unique discipline within the University, in that our impact and engagement activities reach across the environmental, economic, social, creative, health, policy and practice sectors.

  • By impact we mean the positive societal and environmental benefits that arise from our work.
  • By engagement we mean the many collaborations and interactions we have with communities, publics, and our partner organisations in the VCSE, public and private sectors.

In Geography, impact and engagement have for decades been right at the heart of our research -rather than being separate, secondary or afterthoughts to our research activity. We believe that a bedrock of engagement, and trusting two-way relationships with people and organisations outside the University, make for impact that is more beneficial to all.

Our longstanding and more recent working relationships with communities, organisations and policy-makers make our research more relevant and useful in acting upon some of the most pressing contemporary issues. They also help us conduct better research with which to analyse and theorise these issues.

We undertake impact and engagement projects in numerous localities – on our own doorstep in North East England, and as far away as South Africa, Greenland and Peru. This work ranges from enhancing systems for environmental monitoring of river and volcanic hazards, to supporting efficient low-cost household energy use, to advising governments on migration, to challenging Islamophobia and gender inequalities.

We use diverse methods for impact and engagement, as appropriate to the contexts and partners we work with. Much of our practice is marked by co-production - we are committed to two-way collaborations, in some cases designing new research questions jointly, in others working closely on outputs and follow-up action with stakeholders and partners. We have a track record of developing new ways to engage. From working alongside policy-makers, to citizen science with local communities, to partnerships with charities, to collaborations with artists, to participatory action research with grassroots activists, our common goal is producing high quality knowledge together for maximum positive impact.

The project examples linked to from this page are not exhaustive, but illustrate the breadth and diversity of our recent impact and engagement work.
Our Impact Coordinator is Professor Rachel Pain.