Genome Canada - research impact lab

Most scientists are brilliant in their field but can struggle to demonstrate impact as required by granting agencies. As a result, their project proposals and evaluation reports often miss the mark, which can hurt them when they go to seek future funding.

Genome Canada asked me to develop a way to make this work easier for their scientists. So I developed an easy-to-learn impact evaluation model that combined a simple story framework with a standard logic model (used by most government funders). Then I ran a two-day research impact lab for a dozen Genome Canada researchers and project managers to show them how to use it to plan, manage and report on their projects. And they loved it.

At the end of the first day, one PI (Principal Investigator) used the new model to identify gaps in and re-design a $5M research grant. Others adopted it wholesale as a way to align their teams and keep projects on track. And another used it as a framework for blogging about her work.

By reframing the way they think about impact and evaluation, lab participants were able to free themselves of the torturous task of trying to make up impressive sounding impact metrics and concentrate instead on doing what they do best - finding new ways to create a sustainable future.