Impact Practitioners

How to design a research uptake plan

By 23/05/2024

This 13-page guide by Malaria Consortium is about developing and monitoring research uptake plans. Research uptake is the use of research evidence by researchers, policymakers, implementers or practitioners to inform policy or practice.

In order to achieve research uptake, studies should include advocacy, communications and knowledge management. They should also involve stakeholders in order to obtain a technical perspective.

The guide takes you through the steps required to fill out a research uptake plan template for your research study, and shows you an example for each step.

The first stage is to provide a brief summary of the project and the research study (if they are different). This will be a helpful reference for when the research uptake is more widely shared within your organisation.

The second step is to define your objectives and desired outcomes of the research study on policy or practice. You should also determine any assumptions that may have been made between each objective level, and make a list of any risks you may need to mitigate.

Thirdly, conduct a stakeholder analysis. There are many tools available to help you do this, but this guide specifically uses the Alignment, Influence and Interest Matrix (AIIM) tool developed by the Overseas Development Institute (ODI).

Once you have identified your stakeholders and their needs, develop messages and research uptake activities for them. You should outline the specific arguments that you intend to communicate to each of these stakeholders, and the activities where they will be shared. 

The fifth step is to plan and monitor your research uptake activities. This involves allocating a budget for each research activity, and identifying who will be responsible for conducting each one.  Once you have developed your research uptake plan, it is important to keep a record of all activities and their results, so that you can report on and attribute their impact. 

The final stage is to save your research uptake plan on the intranet. This makes it easily accessible during and after the research study is completed. 

Overall, this template is useful for practitioners and researchers who want to achieve research uptake.

This article is part of our initiative, R2A Impact Practitioners. To find out more, please click here.