Browse examples the impacts achieved by academics at the University of Sheffield as a result of regional, national and international media coverage.


Impact of media work

Quality media coverage is a powerful way in which universities can amplify the impact of their work.

While traditional academic journals often have limited readership, engaging media work reaches a vast audience that includes potential students, donors, policymakers and the general public.

This is the power of storytelling. Through engaging media work, complex research is translated into clear, compelling narratives that resonate with audiences and demonstrate how the university  is directly addressing real-world problems. 

The ripple effects can be significant. Positive media coverage can lead to policy changes, updated industry guidelines, and exciting new collaborations – with industry partners, fellow researchers, or funding agencies.

Examples of impacts that have followed on from our media work include:

Impact on guidelines

Scientists from the University of Sheffield’s School of Clinical Dentistry identified a rise in the number of people diagnosed with a serious heart infection Infective endocarditis (IE) alongside a fall in the prescribing of certain antibiotics to dental patients - in line with NICE guidance.

After extensive media coverage, NICE changed their advice to dentists, a decision which could save around 35 lives a month.

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Impact on policy makers

Following media coverage of a study from the Sheffield Centre for Health and Related Research, which investigated how gambling adverts affect children, young people and those already vulnerable to the risks of gambling, Greg Fell, Director of Public Health in Sheffield, contacted  the lead researcher and used the study within evidence for the Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Committee.

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Impact with peers

Scientists in the School of Biosciences found that the wildlife trade was driving declines in species abundance. This story was pitched to The Guardian as an Exclusive. Following The Guardian story and subsequent media coverage, academics in Norway contacted the PhD student to collaborate on a new research project.

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Impact with industry

The University’s Department of Mechanical Engineering developed revolutionary leaf-busting technology that uses dry ice to remove leaves from railway lines and is tested in collaboration with rail providers.

After regularly promoting the research and new developments to media, an engineer from Rolls-Royce has asked for more details on the technology as they are potentially interested in using it to clean some of the materials they use in manufacturing.

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Following media coverage on University experts raising security concerns with AIs such as ChatGPT,  the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development  (EBRD) sought our academics’ advice on its use of AI and expressed an interest in setting up a paid placement scheme for our students who have skills in information and cyber security.

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Impact on policy 

Research from Social Sciences, which suggested policymakers should offer incentives, such as council tax or water bill discounts, to encourage gardeners to use environmentally sensitive techniques to help combat climate change in cities and boost communities' 

health and wellbeing received widespread national coverage. This led to an announcement that the Welsh government is considering banning artificial lawns following this research

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Impact on profile 

Professor Dominic Broomfield-McHugh's reputation as a leading international expert on American musical theatre and film was solidified by extensive media coverage, including a feature in the prestigious New York Times.  This recognition led to him being approached to produce a documentary, which went on to win an Emmy award.

If you have had an impact as a result of media coverage, please let us know at

A global reputation

Sheffield is a research university with a global reputation for excellence. We're a member of the Russell Group: one of the 24 leading UK universities for research and teaching.