Performing Impact in Research: A Dramaturgical Reflection on Knowledge Brokers in Academia

Peter Van Der Graaf*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


Knowledge brokers are increasingly employed by universities to increase the use of research evidence in practice. However, these posts can be subject to resistance, making post holders feel undervalued. This chapter identifies feelings of imposterism among knowledge brokers in academia and explores how these feelings can be reworked by employing Goffman’s dramaturgical perspective. Data are drawn from auto-ethnographic analysis of over 240 enquires supported by AskFuse, a responsive research service for public health practitioners in North East of England. The findings show that imposter syndrome can be turned into a useful repertoire for knowledge brokers by making better use of the distinction between front and backstages. Being able to act differently according to the audience and stage required facilitates translation of research evidence into practice.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Palgrave Handbook of Imposter Syndrome in Higher Education
EditorsMichelle Addison, Maddie Breeze, Yvette Taylor
Place of PublicationCham, Switzerland
Number of pages17
ISBN (Electronic)9783030865702
ISBN (Print)9783030865696, 9783030865726
Publication statusPublished - 12 Apr 2023
Externally publishedYes

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