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Knowledge Exchange

Sarah Hall (Director of Strategy for Research Impact) leads the Knowledge Exchange & Impact Directorate, providing strategic oversight of knowledge exchange (KE) and impact activities and ensuring effective use of Higher Education Innovation Funding (HEIF) as an enabler of our KE ambitions.
The team works collaboratively with multiple stakeholders across the University in support of our knowledge exchange priorities, including teams which lead on commercialisation, business engagement, sustainability and translational research.

Our Strategy as reported to Research England via the HEIF Accountability Statement for the reporting period 2021/22 to 2024/25 sets the following KE priorities:

  1. Creating an environment and culture that enhances our capacity to deliver KE; for example, establishing the Research Culture Working Group to support and reward KE activity at all career stages.
  2. Acting as a catalyst for improving the prosperity of Leeds and the Leeds City Region; we will develop effective partnerships with civic and regional governance to influence policy and maximise opportunities to derive positive societal and economic benefit arising from the University's research & innovation strengths.
  3. Generating impact through increased breadth and depth of our key external partnerships; for example, using our Business Engagement Framework to provide support for external partners to work with the University and access research, knowledge, talent, facilities and skills development.
  4. Maximising our opportunities to create and grow early-stage businesses: we will boost the creation of innovation-driven start-ups through activities targeted at graduate, postgraduate, staff, and local/national entrepreneurs.
  5. Creating a positive culture for public engagement and support for engaged research: we will ensure public engagement is embedded across a balanced impact portfolio.

Sarah is also the Chair of the Research Impact and Knowledge Exchange Steering Group, whose aim is to provide a strategic view on knowledge exchange and research impact activity from across the University, ensuring that activities align, complement, and build on each other to create the most value for the university.  This group reports to the Research & Innovation Board.

The Knowledge Exchange & Impact Directorate comprises of the following teams:

Knowledge Exchange (
The KE team support activities relating to HEIF, the Knowledge Exchange Concordat, the Knowledge Exchange Framework and allocation and monitoring of Research England Funding including Policy Support and Participatory Research funds.

Public Engagement with Research (
The Public Engagement with Research team offers bespoke professional advice, assistance, and some resources on engaging the public with research.

Regional Development and Engagement (
The Regional Development and Engagement Team develop and oversee the University’s initiatives and strategies that contribute to regional economic development; building relationships with regional civic partners; and working with academics and professional services staff to help ensure the University is well-positioned to access regionally-focused funds for R&I & KE.

Policy Leeds (
Policy Leeds is a cross University initiative to support policy engagement, it acts as a coordinating hub to bring together researchers, policymakers and practitioner communities in innovative collaborations.

Research and Impact Quality and Policy Team (
The Research and Impact Quality and Policy team support the preparations and policies for the next REF cycle; developing the university’s Research Information System Symplectic; enabling the University’s annual outputs review process; submissions to Researchfish; and the capture of information on impact-related activity across the University. They work closely with the Dean for Research Quality, Prof Amanda Bretman.

Contact details for individual colleagues can be found at the Knowledge Exchange and Impact Contact Us Page.