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I am a research impact consultant based in the North East of England but supporting a wide range of universities across the UK. If you work with me, you always know that you are actually working with me. But what does that mean – who ARE you getting?

 

Language has always been central to my academic and professional activities. Having initially studied Theology and Jewish Studies in Germany, I worked as a freelance copy-editor for an academic publisher while my children were young. I then trained as a Teacher of English as a Foreign Language (including a Masters in Applied Language Studies) and taught English for Academic Purposes, mostly at Newcastle University. From this part of my career, I have gained explicit knowledge of the effect that certain words can have, and developed fluency in finding alternatives that still sound formal enough for (semi-)academic contexts – perfectly suited to writing and editing impact case studies. I served on the board of the professional association of Lecturers in English for Academic Purposes (BALEAP) for seven years, gaining a much wider perspective of how different universities work.

In 2017, I embarked on my PhD journey at Newcastle University, researching the language of REF2014 impact case studies, and in 2020, I published some of my findings in a widely read article with Mark Reed and other colleagues (Writing impact case studies: a comparative study of high-scoring and low-scoring case studies from REF2014). Since 2019, I have supported universities with their external impact needs. For REF2021 this mainly included case study reviews, support in writing case studies and framing the narrative, advice on collecting evidence, and strategic reviews.

After the REF2021 submission, I worked as Research Communications Manager at the Cultural Evolution Society Transformation Fund, based at Durham University. Through this innovative funding scheme with Equality, Diversity and Inclusion at its heart, I could apply impact planning principles to projects around the globe. However, I continued to support a small number of UK universities with wider impact planning. Now that more universities are focusing on REF2029, I am following my heart of working for a wide range of universities and learning about the amazing impacts that people are creating across the academic spectrum.

Impact Officer

You’re doing a great job, Bella. Neither of us are subject specialists in these specific areas, but I’m extremely impressed with your understanding, commitment, attention to detail and levels of knowledge. It’s making such a difference to me to be working with you. I’m learning a lot.

Impact Manager

[Researcher] is very grateful for the advice and support. She has engaged fully with the feedback she gets and has improved her case study immeasurably as a result. Thank you for your contribution to turning this case study around.

Impact Officer at a high-scoring specialist university

Thank you so much for all your support, guidance and help with the case studies - our excellent results is just as much a testament to you as our academics.

Impact Officer

All my colleagues speak extremely highly of you, including those who are usually hard to impress 😉 Your reviews were consistently judged as more useful and informative than anyone else’s, which is a measure of both your knowledge and understanding and your ability to communicate well. And it’s not difficult at all to see how all of this can be applied beyond REF!
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