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Research Impact: Some Insights from the UK Experience of the Last Fifteen Years

A recording of the Workshop is available for colleagues of the Faculty of Arts. If you are interested in the workshop, please send a request to the Dean’s Office (


The HKBU Faculty of Arts aims to cultivate innovative approaches to research impact among its researchers in both traditional and creative research with a new, ongoing workshop series featuring prominent guests working across disciplines. In this inaugural series workshop, it welcomes Professor Chris Megone of the University of Leeds (UK). 

Professor Chris Megone was appointed Faculty of Arts Knowledge Transfer (KE/Impact) Director in the University of Leeds (a Russell Group University whose Arts Faculty is listed within the top 50-60 in the world). In the last fifteen years, he has seen the transformation in attitudes to impact in Arts and Humanities research in UK Higher Education Institutions (HEIs). At Leeds this initially (2005-2010) often involved: helping people to appreciate the extent to which impact was already embedded in their research; helping those who were producing ground-breaking impact to gain recognition; and spreading the word to other anxious colleagues that they could usually incorporate research impact too. As impact became part of the UK Research Excellence Framework (REF; 20% for REF2014, then 25% for REF2021) the next challenge was to provide clear and convincing accounts of impact achieved in impact case studies or potential impact in research proposals. Chris reviewed more than 100 impact case studies for REF2014 and has been a case study author for both REF2014 and REF2021.

This seminar will discuss some of the issues that have needed to be addressed during this journey. These will include: confusion over the nature of ‘impact’; levers and barriers with regard to doing impactful research; writing good impact case studies; the importance of evidence and keeping it; and research design -- embedding impact in research projects from the start. A key part of the seminar will be devoted to a range of examples of impact work in the Arts from Leeds, and of Arts impact case studies developed for the REF.


Chris Megone is Professor of Inter-Disciplinary Applied Ethics, and has been Director of Inter-Disciplinary Ethics Applied, a national Centre of Excellence (the IDEA CETL), at the University of Leeds, since its inception in 2005. He was awarded a National Teaching Fellowship in 2006.  Chris was Faculty of Arts Knowledge Transfer (Knowledge Exchange/Impact Director) from 2006-11 and Faculty of Arts International Director from 2012-2017. He was an internal reviewer for impact case studies in the Faculty of Arts and the Faculty of Performance, Visual Arts and Culture for REF2014, and was also called on to review more than 100 case studies from across multiple faculties. He was a 4* case study author for the 2014 REF, and is an impact case study author for REF2021.

He has worked with colleagues in the Inter-Disciplinary Ethics Applied Centre delivering teaching and research, and providing research based consultancy in Professional Ethics. For example, the Centre produced “Real Integrity: Promoting Integrity in Organisations” for the Institute of Chartered Accountants for England and Wales; and Chris drew on this in giving evidence at the Leveson Inquiry into the “Ethics and Culture of the Media” in the UK. In autumn 2016 Chris co-authored “Exploring the role of Professional Bodies and Professional Qualifications in the UK Banking Sector” for the UK’s Banking Standards Board, examining the role for Professional Bodies in raising levels of ethical behaviour in banks and building societies. He has wide-ranging publications – in Aristotelian ethics, in applied ethics, especially in medical ethics and business and professional ethics, and in the area of moral psychology and rationality. 

If you have any questions, please contact us at / 3411 2875.