Research impact refers to the ways in which research influences a wide variety of phenomena and trends in society. Impact emerges as a result of the combined effect of research knowledge and other factors, and it generally manifests over the long term. This is a complex process.
The broader societal impact of research has been examined in a separate analysis published in the context of the data compiled for the State of Scientific Research in Finland review in 2022 (Tiede yhteiskunnan rakentajana: tilastollinen tarkastelu tutkimuksen laajemmasta vaikuttavuudesta Suomen Akatemian hankeraporttien pohjalta. Laura Taajamaa (PDF, summary in English) and in the 2016 State of Scientific Research in Finland.
To learn more about the impact of research, go to Societal impact on our website.
Our strategic impact objectives
- New scientific breakthroughs and solutions for the benefit of whole society
- Capacity of research for renewal and reform
- Better and higher-impact skills and competence
The objectives for quality, impact and renewal all reinforce each other. We encourage all researchers to consider the impact of their research and to work towards promoting that impact.
The complexity of impact
Research can have many different kinds of effects and impact depending on the discipline and the research organisation. Society’s expectations of the impact of science are also different for different disciplines.
New information and expertise generated by research can, for instance:
- boost prosperity by providing solutions for streamlining business operations
- aid and support policymaking by providing reliable background information
- create and develop skills needed in working life
- support individuals in spiritual growth and education.
In the long term, science and research also contribute to the development of society’s ultimate aims and our understanding of the best way to reach them.
Impact of research projects
Researchers are encouraged to consider how their work is connected with wider issues, extending beyond academia, both when they apply for research funding and when they report on the use of funding. It is important to ensure that both policymakers and the general public are aware of the effects and impact of research and the potential it carries. Science advocacy requires comprehensive data on and insight into the purposes and methods of utilising research knowledge and know-how.