RiLIES guidance – Planning for impact

Download Word file with example proposal text

It can be challenge to put together a proposal for an impactful LIS project – that is, one you want to make a difference and have a legacy. This brief gives some pointers and you can download a Word file with some examples that you are free to use.

Proposing an impactful project: General advice and support from LIRG

A good starting point for advice is an article by Juliet Eve, “Writing a research proposal: planning and communicating your research ideas effectively”.

Juliet’s article guides professionals through the stages in writing an effective research proposal. It covers the when, why and how to aspects of research proposals, and uses examples to illustrate the most effective way to communicate research ideas.

The Library & Information Research Group (LIRG) runs workshops on the theme “Writing research proposals : introductory and follow up workshops”. The next even can be found via LIRG’s event page on the CILIP website. These are  offered in various locations and include an introductory session aimed at those new to research and proposal writing and a follow up for those interested in submitting a proposal and receiving feedback. The workshops are

particularly geared to those who are interested in submitting proposals for the LIRG Research Awards, but are also useful for any research proposals.

Thinking about impact

The RiLIES project showed that it is important to plan for impact from the beginning. Successful impact depends on a number of factors, most importantly how it is planned and conceived, the extent to which practitioners are involved in its execu­tion,
and how its findings are reported. Recommendations included:

  • Researchers should be encouraged to develop research dissemination strategies aligned to where and how practitioners access new information and create (embed) outputs which support the use of research results
  • Where appropriate, researchers should
    be encouraged to include provision
    for teaching and community support materials in project plans.
  • Researchers should publish reports with clear lists of recommend­ations, in accessible language. This is in addition to any academic papers researchers may choose to publish.

RiLIES has made available examples of the text we used when putting together out proposals – use the link. Although the content is specific to the particular project, it is worth reading and should be a useful resource when writing other proposals. Key features are:

  • Clarity about audience and how it will be reached
  • Specific examples of envisaged impact
  • It demonstrates previous successes by project participants
  • It proposes approaches to measuring impact
  • It is realistic about the limitations on what can be done

We hope it will inspire you to think about planning for impact when you submit a project proposal.

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