There are many stepping stones on the road from research to impact. The process starts with research, although even that statement is not entirely true! The design of a research project is grounded in consultation. Thus, there is a stage before research, namely dialogue and project development.
Carrying out a research study can take several years or more, but once the study is complete, the next step is to translate and disseminate the findings. To enable this process, accessible and evidence-based resources are essential. At this stage, stakeholder engagement is crucial and members of the BAMSA network can help realise shared ambitions for the mindsport bridge by publicising findings, giving feedback and contributing to ideas for useful resources.
In theory, impact follows on from this, although measuring the impact of research is not always straightforward. Recording an increase in the number of club members, or the number of schools teaching bridge, is relatively simple. Measuring changes in behaviour (a reduction in sexist attitudes, for example) is more complex. Once again, the BAMSA network has a key role to play in monitoring, recording and sharing with researchers the evidence for changes in attitudes and behaviour as well as changes in policy and practice.
The way to impact is not linear, nor is it a single-track road. There are many lanes and many possibilities but, by working collaboratively with network members, over time BAMSA researchers will be able to create a range of case studies to show the positive impact of their work.