Miss Yvonne Morgan (Senior Research Support Officer, University of Southampton)
Charlotte Stringer, Research Support Officer & Joanna Lancaster, Research Support Officer

Download PDF


Developing a successful proposal is no easy task and most academics that I have worked with will approach it in a similar format where the case for support or equivalent will occupy the most attention and will often be the first thing that is developed. My approach seeks to change this and through adopting what I call the Reverse Butterfly Effect, I am challenging academic colleagues to develop their proposals by beginning with the pathways to impact or impact statements. Through reversing their thinking and starting at the end, proposals are being developed that are of a higher quality; with well written pathways to impact statements and impact summaries and on occasion the research questions that were originally proposed is changed to better represent the project and ensure future benefits and impacts are more likely to be achieved.

Key Messages

How using the Reverse Butterfly effect can help empower research support staff during the development of research proposals.
How using impact as a starting point in the development of a proposal is unique way to nurture a quality proposals.
How challenging academics on their proposals during the early stages of proposal development can have a positive impact.