Postgraduate Impacts – Thinking beyond the thesis

In recent years academics have been encouraged to think about the impacts of their work within wider socio-political contexts. While the spirit of this is seemingly welcomed by most, impact has suffered from an increasingly narrowed definition, particularly in the UK where the Research Excellence Framework gears itself towards anthropocentric, quantifiable and large ‘outcomes’ from research. Within this milieu, postgraduates are also being increasingly encouraged to examine the impacts that their research has, with impact assessment schemes, such as ‘Research Fish,’ now a feature of many PhD candidates’ lives.

This session looks to critically examine the nexus between postgraduate study and the ‘Impact Agenda,’ looking to challenge both what ‘impact’ means and how postgraduate students may negotiate their research impacts. We are seeking postgraduate students to present short, 10 minutes, papers that offer insight into these issues either drawing from their own experiences of impact or offering a more general critical insight from a postgraduate perspective. Papers might focus on (but are not limited to) topics such as:

  • measuring impact;
  • small or slow impact;
  • more-than-human impacts;
  • the ethics and responsibilities of “delivering” impact;
  • ‘other’ forms of impact not directly related to a thesis itself, such as activism, teaching and personal career progression.

Abstract submission:

Please email prospective contributions or any queries to Phil Emmerson ( and Sophie Shuttleworth ( The deadline for submission is 28th March 2016.  Please include:

  • A title for your presentation;
  • An abstract of max 150 words;
  • Your name, affiliation and contact details (email address).