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Ascend FAQs

Is the Ascend research impact program right for me?

Not sure if Ascend is for you?  The questions below will help you find out. 

Interested in Ascend? Register your interest here!

Q1. I am motivated to make a positive difference in the broader world (outside the research community) with my research and capabilities, and I want to increase my skills and capability to do so. 

A:

  • Yes - Great!  Ascend might be for you.  Proceed to the next question to find out more. 

  • No - if you’re absolutely committed to spend all of your time on a “pure” or “blue-sky” research career, and the only audience for this research is other researchers, good for you!  It’s critical that Australia is investing in brilliant blue-sky research: it feeds the next decade’s applied research.  The Ascend program isn’t designed for you.  But if your plan is to spend some of your time on blue-sky research and some on more applied research, we encourage you to proceed to the next question to find out more about what Ascend might do to help you.  And you might also want to refresh your memory about your University’s or Centre’s research impact strategy, to remind yourself how central research impact is to the University’s or Centre’s vision. 

 

  • Or, if you’re committed to achieving impact with your research, and you’re confident that you have the skills, networks and confidence to do so, congratulations!  Your leadership will be vital for Australia’s future.  But - do all the members of your research team, and all of your collaborators, especially the more junior ones, have the same skills, networks and confidence that you do?  Won’t you be more effective in achieving your impact goals if they do?  We encourage you to proceed to the next question to find out more about what Ascend might do to help you build their impact and engagement capabilities. 

Q2. I have an idea about the problem in the broader world that my research or capabilities might solve.

 

A:

  • Yes - Great!  Ascend might be for you.  Proceed to the next question to find out more. 

  • No - Congratulations for being honest about this!  We encourage you to sign up for Cruxes’ Base program to help you identify the problems that your research might solve, and engage with the people (potential collaborators or impact partners) who care most about those problems.  

Q3. I’ve already invested six months or more in developing the research project and/or capabilities that I think might solve a problem in the broader world.  That is, my research project and/or capabilities are more than just an idea.

A:

  • Yes - Great!  Ascend might be for you.  Proceed to the next question to find out more. 

  • No - my research project and/or capabilities are just an idea at this stage. Excellent!  Congratulations for thinking about the impact potential of your project and/or capabilities before investing time and effort in developing them!  We encourage you to sign up for Cruxes’ Base program to help you validate the problems that your research and/or capabilities might solve, and engage with the people (potential collaborators or impact partners) who care most about those problems. Please consider Ascend again when your project is more mature.  

Q4. If my research or capabilities help to solve this problem, this might lead to a commercial outcome, such as an external partner creating a new for-profit product or service.

A:

  • Yes - Great!  Ascend might be for you.  Proceed to the next question to find out more. 

  • No - Great!  Ascend might be for you.  Ascend isn’t just about commercial outcomes.  Ascend is for researchers keen to make all types of positive impact with their research - social, cultural, environmental - not just economic impact.  Proceed to the next question to find out more.  

Q5. My research or capabilities are in STEM and/or life sciences.  

A:

  • Yes - Great!  Ascend might be for you.  Proceed to the next question to find out more. 

  • No - Great!  Sounds like you’re an impact-focused researcher in HASS.  Ascend might be for you.  Ascend isn’t just for scientists.  It’s for researchers from any discipline, keen to make all types of positive impact with their research.  Ascend has helped a lot of HASS teams.  Proceed to the next question to find out more. 

Q6. I have 1-4 team-mates working with me on this research project, or developing similar or complementary capabilities, who are also impact-motivated and want to increase their impact skills.  My team-mates include other researchers (at any career stage), professional colleagues, and/or external collaborators. 

A:

  • Yes - Great!  Ascend might be for you.  Ascend participants are project teams of 2-5 people.  Proceed to the next question to find out more.  

  • No - Ascend participants are project teams of 2-5 people.  We’d encourage you to find one or more colleagues who want to help you achieve impact with your research to form an Ascend team.  If your research isn’t a “team sport” today, we’d encourage you to think creatively about who your Ascend team-mates might be: industry engagement, business development or tech transfer professionals?  Professional research staff?  Potential research collaborators, from your research discipline or another one?  Students - undergrad, masters or PhD - from your research discipline or from another one, maybe the business school?  Potential external collaborators?  Once you find them, or have ideas about where you might find them, proceed to the next question to find out more. 

 

Q7. My team-mates and I are motivated enough to make a positive difference in the broader world with our research project, and to increase our skills and capability to do so.  We’re ready to invest about 6 days over 10 weeks to achieve this. 

A:

  • No - I/we have too many other time commitments to do this.  We understand that life is very busy for academics and researchers, now more than ever.  But with the Federal Government’s increasing emphasis on research impact for almost all research funding, and with Universities and Centres also asking researchers to deliver impact from their research, this is a great opportunity to reassess priorities.  Maybe some other commitments could be delayed to allow you to take advantage of this opportunity to invest in yourself and further your career.  And if it’s absolutely impossible for you to carve out all this time for Ascend, maybe some or most of your team-mates can do so, especially with management support?  If this seems possible, please consider finding 45 minutes to attend an online info session to learn more about Ascend and meet the people who will deliver it.  Click HERE to sign up for the info session.