New online course gives powerful tools to increase research impact

Aimed at researchers and others interested in research impact, the course is the first of its kind in Finland. 

The University of Helsinki has launched Finland’s first Finnish- and English-language online course focused on the societal impact of research. This open and free-of-charge course aims to provide researchers and other professionals with a comprehensive understanding of how their work can influence society. The course also gives tools for promoting impact. 

Although the main purpose is to support early-career researchers, more experienced researchers and other professionals working with research impact may also benefit from the course content.  

The course is based on an idea by Senior Advisor Laura Valkeasuo.  

“After working for years on research impact, I’ve come to understand that researchers appreciate clear information on its basic concepts. I wanted to create a course that would give them more insight into the topic, including its wide range and different areas,” she says. 

The course is offered on the DigiCampus platform and takes three to six hours to complete, depending on the participant’s previous knowledge and interest in delving into the topic.  

The course examines the different roles researchers can take when aiming for impact. However, Valkeasuo would like to remind researchers that they need not be active 'influencers' to ensure the impact of their research. 

“Research can have an impact and influence even without such activity.  The course is a unique opportunity for researchers and other professionals to expand their knowledge of the potential social impact of their work.” 

Content for the Researcher's online course on research impact was contributed by several specialists from the universities of Helsinki and Tampere and the Finnish Academy of Science and Letters. The practical implementation and pedagogical component were the responsibility of the company Ixir-verkkokurssit Oy. The course has received financial support from the University of Helsinki and the above academy. The organisers are discussing the incorporation of the course into the University of Helsinki teaching programme. 

After completing the online course on research impact for researchers, you will: 

  • Understand the societal impact of research, including its associated mechanisms 
  • Be able to estimate the potential societal impact of your own research 
  • Have gained concrete tips for promoting the societal impact of your research 

Explore the course on DigiCampus!