New tool to support making Visible the ImpaCT Of Research – VICTOR

In an attempt to navigate the busy landscape of research impact ideas in way that is a practical and pragmatic in an NHS setting,  a group of Trusts in Yorkshire and the Humber, supported by NIHR CLAHRC YH and NIHR YH CRN, have come together to create VICTOR (making Visible the ImpaCT Of Research). Victor is a tool which has been co-produced with NHS organisations to help identify and capture the impact of taking part in research within their organisation. VICTOR takes into account existing literature and the areas in which impact is important in the NHS. It sets out six domains of potential impact, and this information is collected by a questionnaire method, or by using the questionnaires to guide conversations. VICTOR enables engagement with research participants, professionals, managers and researchers to identify impact that has happened where it matters to them. VICTOR findings can be used to raise awareness of research impact in the NHS or across healthcare systems, and help plan for improved impact in future.

Follow our website ( and twitter (#VICTORImpact) to find out how others have used VICTOR.

Those who have used the VICTOR tool have found it very helpful in uncovering impact of research in NHS organisations. With some beginning to use it as part of their governance and reporting processes, and to celebrate success.

VICTOR is an actionable tool. It helps

  • NHS research teams identify and use stories of impact to feedback into their organisations
  • to plan further impact
  • to share impact case studies with partners, for example on CLAHRC projects and CRN impact case studies. It can be used as evidence in CQC ‘well led’ submissions.
  • to engender a research culture and capacity building. Seeing that research makes a difference is a mechanism for increasing capacity in organisations and individuals ( Cooke et al 2018)

The tool was piloted across 12 Trusts and 24 case studies were created.  So far, Trusts have said that:

  • “Victor has been hugely helpful”
  • “Lots came up that we hadn’t expected”
  • “Seeing it written down was very powerful”
  • “Some of the case study information will go into a follow on funding bid”
  • “Encouraged reflection on challenges”
  • “Uncovering hidden impacts”
  • “We got a huge amount more information than we would have without the VICTOR structure. Without that we wouldn’t have got the detail”
  • “Patients wanted to give their views”
  • “Doing this helped build relationships between the clinical teams and research team”
  • “The Board loved the hexagons – a great visual summary”
  • “It captures people’s attention”
  • “It captured additional information that funders wouldn’t have got otherwise”
  • “I wish I’d had it at the beginning when I was designing the study”
  • “You don’t reflect very often and then you think wow, we did that”
  • “Very rewarding for staff (research and clinical)”
  • “It was an educational experience. That interaction has led to clinical teams being more aware of research and that hasn’t been obvious to me before”

If you would like to request a pack so that you can use VICTOR in your own organisation, please contact

VICTOR pack contents:

 How to use VICTOR. This section is for Impact Case Study Co-ordinators (ICC) to guide them through the VICTOR process.

 VICTOR Impact Questionnaire: Principal Investigator, Research Team, Research Manager and Industrial Partners. This is the questionnaire to be used with most stakeholders. It can be self-completed or used as a structured interview/ guided conversation to collect information.

 VICTOR Impact Questionnaire: Patient, Family and Carers. This questionnaire is for research participants and their family. We find this is best used as a structured conversation.

 Summary document. This is a document used by the ICC to pull out the most relevant material collected during the VICTOR process, and to summarise this. This section also includes a populated example of a summary document.

 Impact planning template. This can be used by the ICC in partnership with the research team to plan further action where needed, in order to promote more impact. This is used only when a need for further planning is thought to be useful.

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