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Impact Fortnight 2021: Place and Research Impact, 15-26 November

Join us for Impact Fortnight 2021: Place and Research Impact, a series of online events from Monday 15 November to Friday 26 November 2021. The sessions will explore the theme of “Place” and what it means for us as a University for Public Good. 

All sessions are open to all research-active staff at the University, and also to PhD students and administrative staff who support impact.

Attendance is free, but as space is limited, booking is essential.

Registration for these events is closed.

Session 1: What does it mean to be a civic university for public good?

Monday 15 November, 10am-1pm

Hosted by Matthias Ruth, Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Research, and Chaired by Kiran Trehan, Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Partnerships and Engagements.

In the opening session of Impact Fortnight 2021 we will explore what it means to be a University for Public Good. The University of York’s new Strategic Vision repositions the institution as a ‘University for Public Good’. We consider what this means in the context of ‘levelling up’ local and regional economies, and through the lens of York’s Civic University Agreement. The session will focus on:

  1. What we can learn from successful engagement
  2. How students and staff can become involved 
  3. A discussion around how ‘public good’ becomes embedded as an enabling strategy across a university

Speakers and Panel Members:

Opening Address:
Professor Charlie Jeffery, Vice-Chancellor of the University of York “What does it mean to be a University for Public Good?”

Panel members:

  • Matthew Brown, Leader of Preston City Council (invited)
  • Alice Frost, Director of Knowledge Exchange, Research England
  • Ian Graham, Director of BioYork and Weston chair of Biochemical Genetics
  • Paul Gready, Director of Centre for Applied Human Rights
  • Marie-Ann Jackson, Head of Stronger Communities, North Yorkshire City Council (invited)
  • Rachael Maskell, MP for York Central
  • Judith McNicol, Director, National Railway Museum
  • Julian Skyrme, Director of Social Responsibility at University of Manchester

Session 2: Arts, culture and placemaking: what role can research play? A Place and community event

Wednesday 17 November, 10.30am-12:45pm 

(Panel session 10.30-11.40; Workshop 11.50-12.45)

Hosted by Richard Ogden, Director of the Humanities Research Centre, Chaired by Kiran Trehan, Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Partnerships and Engagement.

This event will explore how collaborations between researchers and external partners contribute to cultural wellbeing through placemaking and community building, with a particular focus on collaborations with the arts and cultural sectors.

The event will welcome external speakers from the National Centre for Academic and Cultural Exchange (NCACE), and aims to:

  • Introduce researchers at York from across all disciplines, and interested external partners, to NCACE's resources to support knowledge exchange with the arts and cultural sectors.
  • Inspire and inform colleagues about how to become involved in collaborative work with external partners in this area.
  • Provide a space for peer-to-peer learning around impact related to arts and placemaking.

The event will have the format of a panel session followed by a workshop.

Panel members

  • Suzie Leighton, Co-Director, National Centre for Academic and Cultural Exchange (NCACE)
  • Emily Hopkins, Senior Manager of Research, Evidence and Policy, National Centre for Academic and Cultural Exchange (NCACE)
  • Rachel Cowgill, InterMusE, Department of Music, Research Champion for Creativity
  • Dee Dyas/Kate Giles, Centre for the Study of Christianity and Culture/Heritage360 

The workshop will be an opportunity for people to share and learn from each others’ experiences.

Session 3: Impact forum: impacts from research in challenging political contexts

Thursday 18 November 10.30am-12 noon

Chaired by Richard Friend, Research Theme Champion for Evidence, Risk and Decision making.

Join us for a session that will examine what impact might mean in difficult political contexts and the role of research more generally in navigating these contexts to influence policy and practice. We will explore practical considerations around how to undertake such work and how approaches may be adapted to place-based contexts of individual projects. Finally, we will also touch upon the expectation of non-linearity of impact outcomes with respect to the research in these situations.


  • Shaheer Shahriar, Environment and Geography
  • Sara de Jong, Politics and IGDC
  • Janaka Jayawickrama, Health Sciences
  • Nina Caspersen, Politics

Session 4: Place in impact case studies: surgery sessions

Wednesday 24 November 3-5pm

Hosted by the University and Faculty Impact Managers.

This event has been cancelled.

Session 5: Inequalities in the cultural and creative economies: an emergent research and impact agenda

Thursday 25 November 9.30-11am

Hosted by the Research Theme Champions. Chaired by Nicholas Pleace, Research Champion for Justice and Equality.

Inequalities in access to the creative arts exist at many levels in the UK, perhaps the most important of which are the barriers to talented people training for, pursuing and sustaining a career in the arts and cultural industries. Many of these are linked to broader social and economic inequalities in the UK.

This session will explore how the University can successfully engage with these crucial issues, including finding funding and looking for ways in which our research in this area can support the University’s role in promoting the public good, including promoting the cultural and creative industries in our city and region.


  • Rachel Cowgill, Music and Research Champion for Creativity
  • Martin Suckling, Music
  • Anna Bull, Education
  • Jon Swords, Theatre, Film, Television and Interactive Media

Session 6: Place at a global level: local commitment on a global scale

Friday 26 November 1-4pm

Hosted and chaired by Matthias Ruth, Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Research.

This session celebrates ways in which University of York research is making a difference in local/regional areas around the globe. The session will shine a light on good practice in this area while also exploring some of the cultural, logistical and social challenges that arise, and how experts have dealt with those challenges. We will feature internal speakers from the UoY community, in paired presentations with their external partners with whom they have worked to deliver impact.

Speakers/Panel Members:

  • Environmental conservation in East Africa:

    • Rob Marchant - Environment and Geography

    • Tobias Nyumba - Africa Conservation Centre

    • Rebecca Kariuki - Nelson Mandela University, Arusha

  • Water quality in Nepal:

    • Thomas Krauss - Physics

    • Ashim Dhakal - Director of Phutung Research Institute, Kathmandu, Nepal

  • Equitable Partnerships:

    • Ed Rege, PhD - Founder & CEO, Emerge Centre for Innovations - Africa

    • Jodi Lilley, PhD - Head of Research, Analysis, and Assessment, Morgan Clarkson.