About Me

The focus of Wade’s work is at the nexus of engagement and impact. He works across academic and professional units to embed impact into the culture of the university through policy, development, communications, and impact networks. His research centres on community engagement and impact. Simply put, how and why universities and academics engage with community and the impact it generates.

Wade has been working with adult learners in public and private institutions for almost two decades in a variety of roles. He has supported academics across disciplines in Canada and Australia to translate and mobilise their research for various audiences, including generalist public audiences, the arts, non-profits, NGOs, the health sector, and industry.

He is passionate about knowledge mobilisation to non-academic audiences and the differences institutions can make in communities and on society. Wade’s scholarly foundations provide the underpinnings of the engagement and impact professional development he delivers to academics at all career stages and across disciplines. He weaves his passion for learning and fascination with the information needs of communities throughout his professional role, scholarship, and community-based projects.

He is an in-demand speaker on a variety of topics, including impact in higher education, and has been invited to speak at various international conferences and symposia. Engagement is critical on the pathway to impact, and he endeavours to demonstrate high-quality engagement technique in his professional practice. He is often invited to facilitate panel discussions and his engaging presence has resulted in invites to MC various activities for academic, industry and community events.

He is frequently engaged by media outlets, including having his Moth Grand Final 2018 story broadcast across Australia by the ABC, as well as being an invited speaker for events such as SciFight and a variety of academic and community events. As part of his mission to make learning more accessible to the general public, he has organised and hosted Nerd Nite in three cities to sold out audiences.

The Impactful Academic

Delighted to announce that my new book, the Impactful Academic is available in stores now. The Impactful Academic offers a holistic, all-of-career approach to impact aimed at active researchers and those who support research impact. It ruminates on the question of what an academic with impact looked like in the past, and what it will look like going forward as concepts around impact are solidified by government and granting agencies. The authors come from various backgrounds including engaged scholars who are generating impact, and impact professionals who have been critical to supporting academics across disciplines on their impact journeys. The reader will emerge with more than an impact plan for a single research project or grant, but rather a holistic, career-centric approach to impact.
Impactful Academic book cover, Emerald Publishing, Edited by Wade Kelly



Engagement is critical on the pathway to generating impact. I facilitate strategic engagement planning for individual, projects, and programs. This includes everything from events to social media, and from media engagement to stakeholder management.

Academia & Industry

Academics often struggle to translate complex research concepts for non-academic audiences. I provide consultations and workshops to help bridge the information gap in order to expertly distill specialised knowledge for industry and other audiences.

Research Mobilisation

Through consultations and workshops I help mold ideas to best communicate messages to a variety of audiences. I work with academics and groups to help generate conversation and spread findings to produce dynamic research outputs including posters, learning objects, project summaries, and marketing collateral.  


Engagement is the journey, impact is the destination. I work with academics across career-span on impact planning, and organisations to embed impact into the culture through strategic planning.


We’ve worked closely together on development programs for research communication, public scholarship, and research impact. Wade is an excellent colleague who relishes creating space for positive, meaningful conversations and outcomes, often within complex contexts and with a diverse range of stakeholders. His manner is warm, savvy, and inclusive, and his knowledge and expertise are richly layered. Collaborating with Wade is consistently rewarding. I have benefitted from Wade’s highly attuned networking skills and met wonderful future collaborators and colleagues. He has a remarkable ability to bring good people together to do good work.

Tseen Khoo, PhD, Research Whisperer, Community-builder

It’s been a pleasure collaborating with Wade over the past two years. He is a highly respected impact and engagement specialist who has played a leading role in building an impact community and profession in Australia. Wade is a natural connector, an engaging speaker and strategic thinker.

Ken Knight, Research Impact Manager, Murdoch Children’s Research Institute

Wade is an experienced and thoughtful facilitator of impact, able to provide expert advice from funding applications to project delivery, with a range of experience in public and stakeholder engagement.

Professor Mark Reed CEO, Fast Track Impact

Wade is the unusual “pracademic”. He thinks like an academic and delivers like a practitioner. Wade knows the literature on research impact and contributes to the practice from a scholarly perspective. I think of him on the top of the research impact literacy pyramid at the level of “critical” (ie excellent).

Dr David Phipps, Asst Vice President Research Strategy & Impact, York University Canada

Wade is one of the most effective communicators I have ever met. Wade captures your engagement, whether in a private forum, a classroom, a meeting, or in front of a crowd of hundreds. As well as his natural skill for delivering information and communicating effectively, he understands the importance of getting one’s message out there, and has done wonders to help students, academics, and members of the public connect with the wider community.

Aaron Grinter, PhD, Natural Environment Program Officer, Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning, Victoria

Wade is an exceptional speaker and a gifted communications expert. He is a joy to work with and I have truly valued him as a thoughtful collaborator and colleague. His wide-ranging knowledge of and experience with engagement and communications is truly valuable in today’s higher education setting where telling meaningful stories and capturing impact has never been more important.

Erika Smith, PhD, Associate Professor, Mount Royal University

Curriculum Vitae

Here is my CV (in PDF) for your perusal.

Contact Me

Either use the form or shoot me an email at wade@wadekelly.com.

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