Many universities in Australia have been considering how best to respond to the research engagement and impact agenda and are looking to the experiences of universities in other countries to inform their work. In 2019 Joann Cattlin, from The University of Melbourne Graduate School of Education, received a U21 University of Melbourne Professional Staff Scholarship to undertake related research in the area, which enabled her to travel throughout Canada and the United States of America.
Undertaking a study tour of 8 universities (including U21 members, the University of Maryland, the University of Connecticut and McMaster University), Joann was able to meet over 65 researchers from a range of disciplines in her travels. This allowed her to explore how institutions support the impact of research and how enhanced research engagement with collaborators and stakeholders can support funding applications, partnership negotiations and generating institutional research reputation.
Joann commented on her experiences:
'The way research is conducted is changing to embrace wider collaboration and dissemination; researchers and professionals in research management roles need new skills and strategies to achieve this. It was clear that while engagement was a fundamental part of many researchers’ methodology and institutional missions, it required coordinated, targeted and timely support to not only be effective, but to build organisational capacity and reputation for generating research that makes a difference.'