Courtney Amo, University of Ottawa

Winner, Student Essay Award, 2006

Winning paper: Conceptualizing Research Impact: The Case of Education Research

This qualitative study aims at conceptualizing research impact generally, by studying the specific case of research impact in the field of education. An adaptation of grounded theory was applied to the analysis of two main sources of data: literature on the subject of research impact; and sections of reports provided by educational researchers. The resulting conceptual framework proposes five inter-dependent stages, each stage characteristic of certain categories of research impact that are typically inter-related in time and in terms of researcher control. It is hoped that this conceptual framework will help program evaluators and researchers tackle the larger task of uncovering and arguing the meaningfulness of alternative ways of measuring the impacts of research in the social sciences and humanities.