EARMA Conference Oslo


With service design to user-driven impact service


Milena Fayt


  • S
    Saija Miina
  • A
    Anu Liikanen
  • S
    Sanna Soppela


EARMA Conference Oslo

Format: Pecha Kucha

Topic: Organising Support Services & Team Building

Session: B6: Organising Support Services & Team Building: 4 separate Pecha Kuchas

Friday 6 May 11:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m. (UTC)


The significance of impact generated through research has been increasingly emphasized by both academia and society in Finland and globally. Researchers from all scientific fields are held accountable for the footprint their endeavors leave within and outside academia. Strategy of the University of Eastern Finland (UEF) highlights that impact constitutes an integral part of the UEF activities. Open operational culture enhances interaction, thus boosting knowledge transfer, commercialization of research findings and their extensive and collaborative use within the society.

In terms of research projects, enabling impact creation denotes that each project phase calls for a careful planning. Optimally it is implemented through a collaborative effort uniting researchers and their projects’ vital stakeholders. Such approach requires user-driven services helping researchers to plan, engage for and evidence any impact they will generate via their research.

At the UEF research impact service will be created using service design with the goal of understanding and identifying user needs and improving the user service experience. Design thinking refers to the utilization of design methods in problem solving. It involves a solution-focused and participatory modes. Our ultimate objective is to provide a comprehensive, approachable, informative, specific and verifiable service platform, where the help is only one mouse click away.

In practice, this means that the needs of researchers are not assumed. Instead, we – research services personnel - start working with them to find out the bottlenecks related to the impact planning, implementation, verification and mainstreaming. We aim to find out at the grassroots level through interviews which existing UEF services are effective and what is still missing in order to create researcher-centered service paths for all disciplines.

“Customer journey”- as it is called in the professional jargon - is a visual description of the service progress from the customer's (researcher’s) perspective. It illustrates the interaction between the service user and the service provider. The thematic sections of the impact service will be embracing, among others, definitions of impact, impact planning tools, toolkit for scientific impact as well as for interaction, dissemination, IPR issues, impact indicators etc.

The customer journey design constitutes a concrete development task and will involve cooperation of all units providing impact services at the UEF. It stretches beyond pre-award and post-award research services, including communication services, entrepreneurship and innovation services, as well as library and even legal department.

The research impact service platform is still in the conceptualization phase and will be tested with the researchers. It will be made available in May 2022 via UEF user interface website. The process will serve as a prelude to the implementation of two goals mentioned in the UEF 2030 strategy – to foster the impact generated by the university activities and make service design thinking an integral part of all university activities.