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New website launched to drive greater awareness amongst scientists of the benefits of research

SFI & CÚRAM backed piimpact.com to help academics focus on impact and public good

Thursday, 16 September 2021: CÚRAM, the SFI Research Centre for Medical Devices based at NUI Galway, has launched a new website and online toolkit to support researchers in developing a more holistic view of the impact of their work.

piimpact.com has been designed to help both experienced and early-career academics gain a better awareness of how the work will benefit the public and what difference it has the potential to make.  

Dr Brendan Dolan, lead postdoctoral researcher on the Principal Investigator Impact project, said: “We wanted to identify the strategies and approaches of our individual scientists, and PIs in particular, to enhance the impact potential of their work, including how they engage and collaborate with various stakeholders who could benefit from the research undertaken.

“Our aim is to use these findings to inform and assist new principal investigators taking on this role by providing practical learning tools and resources for learning and professional development training.” 

One of the research themes within CÚRAM since 2015 has focused on translation and impact of research in medical devices. 

Professor Abhay Pandit, Scientific Director of CÚRAM, said: “At CÚRAM, we are focused on designing the next generation of ‘smart’ medical devices. We want to provide our researchers with extensive pathways or routes to impact, through the productive and focused industry, clinician and public engagement and collaboration. 

“This website and toolkit offer a fantastic opportunity to begin to prepare for and plan one’s journey as a successful Personal Investigator and plan for impact. Moreover, the toolkit offers a novel approach to planning for impact, wherein one can plan one’s collaborations to maximise impact.”

The piimpact.com online resource and toolkit was developed on the back of the Principal Investigator Impact project and feedback from almost 600 principal investigators across Ireland.

It highlighted the need for increased support structures to enable researchers to work more effectively and efficiently towards impact, while taking on the ever increasing responsibilities.

The project aims to support research relating to the development of medical devices, and in academia in general. It will allow researchers to more effectively plan for, monitor and evaluate the broader, non-academic impact – the benefits to society beyond traditional metrics such as journal publications and citations. 

A white paper on preparing medical device scientists for the PI role and impact, developed by the Principal Investigator Impact project is available here: http://www.piimpact.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/01/curam_whitepaper_spreads.pdf

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