A seat at the table: regional, rural and remote health research and impact

Wade B. Kelly, Sean MacDermott, Evelien Spelten

Research output: Contribution to journalComment / DebateOtherpeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


Aims: Across higher education, systems and policies explicitly address the impact of research. This paper contributes to the impact and engagement discussion from a regional, rural and remote perspective. We focus on how impact and engagement fit with regional, rural and remote research and explore strategies that can be employed to enhance impact and engagement in a rural health research context. Context: The impact agenda in Australia is a response to a worldwide call for demonstrable change or potential for change resulting from university research. As funding models evolve to integrate impact, there are increased pressures for universities and academics to plan for, evidence and report on it. The current lack of focus on impact in regional, rural and remote research may further disadvantage regional, rural and remote researchers’ prospects for career progression and funding opportunities. Approach: Ignoring or avoiding impact will marginalise rural researchers and research. We discuss the definitions of impact and engagement as they apply to rural research and argue that engagement and impact must be commensurate with employment conditions. To platform regional, rural and remote impact, we provide strategies to assist researchers and administrators in building impact and engagement into their research and academic culture. Conclusion: The message to researchers is that impact is here to stay. The high levels of rural engagement can lead to impact, but we need to be clever at providing clear evidence to make that visible.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1002-1007
Number of pages6
JournalAustralian Journal of Rural Health
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2021
Externally publishedYes


  • engagement
  • higher education
  • impact
  • knowledge translation
  • research funding

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