As a recipient of funding from the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) the Horizon Centre for Doctoral Training has an obligation to demonstrate the impact of the research undertaken by our PhD students.

What is Research Impact? 

Research Councils UK (RCUK) defines research impact as ‘the demonstrable contribution that excellent research makes to society and the economy’. Research impact embraces all the diverse ways that research-related skills can benefit individuals, organisations and nations. This incorporates:

  • Academic Impact: This is the demonstrable contribution that excellent social and economic research makes to scientific advances, across and within disciplines, including significant advances in understanding, method, theory and application
  • Economic and Social Impact: This is the contribution that excellent research makes to society and the economy which is of benefit to individuals, organisations and nations. This can include:
    • Advancing knowledge, understanding and technology
    • Providing highly skilled and employable researchers
    • Improving the effectiveness of public services and policy
    • Increasing the economic competitiveness of the UK
    • Enhancing quality of life and creative output

RCUK introduced Pathways to Impact to help Universities consider how their research can make a difference.


How does the Horizon CDT generate Research Impact?

Our students research has impacted on the economy, global society and on policy, as well as having considerable academic impact globally.

As an interdisciplinary centre, our research contributes to the development of new and existing research themes through contributions to conferences, journals, blogs and a range of other publications. Please see our Publications page for further details.

Our students collaborate with over 150 partners from industry, academia, the public sector, catapults and charitable organisations. A number of students have seen their work have real impact on policy or society, often as part of their collaborative work, or have gone on to commercialise aspects of their research. Please see our CDT Case Studies for examples of this.

In addition many students also undertake a range of public engagement work, regularly participating in activities such as the University of Nottingham’s annual community open day MayFest, maker faires, community health and arts projects, Science Festivals and exhibitions.