Category / Impact

Embedding Fairtrade in teaching and research: a panel discussion with the Fairtrade Foundation

Dear all,

As part of our BU Fairtrade weeks 2024, we are delighted to invite you to a panel discussion dedicated to academics with an interest in sustainability, to explore connections with Fairtrade through collaboration with the Fairtrade Foundation.  

Date: February 27th at 2 pm – Fusion Building, room F305 (in-person only event).

BU is a Fairtrade University; we received the accreditation in 2022 with the highest possible score (3 stars out of 3) and we are among a very small group of universities worldwide to have achieved this. There are plenty of ways for academics to get involved with Fairtrade that will be explored in a panel discussion with the following speakers: 

Elena Fernandez-Lee, Education Campaigning Manager at the Fairtrade Foundation: Elena will talk about the Fairtrade University scheme, discussing best practices to embed Fairtrade in teaching and research, and highlighting potential areas of collaboration with BU academics. Elena will also share about the Foundation’s new campaigns about climate justice and decolonization of the curriculum, and outline ways for BU academics to get involved. 

Izzy Chalk, BU Sustainability Officer: Izzy will talk about BU’s journey to becoming accredited as a 3-star Fairtrade university, outlining best practices in embedding Fairtrade in the curriculum and emphasising further areas of collaboration between the Sustainability team and BU academics. 

Dr Roberta Discetti, BU Fairtrade academic representative: Roberta will share some research-informed practices related to Fairtrade engagement, including NGO/academics cooperation, student co-creation, and multi-stakeholder collaborative initiatives. 

The panel discussion will be followed by an optional 30-minute networking where we will have the opportunity to connect with our guest speaker Elena and discuss different ways of expanding the integration of Fairtrade in sustainability teaching and research. This event is open to all BU and AUB academics, to maximise opportunities for collaboration across departments and faculties.

HE policy update: no 4, 5th February 2024

The update is a bit shorter this week, focussing on the bigger news on research and education.  The next update will be in a couple of weeks.

Research and knowledge exchange

Ref changes: the wheels on the bus go round and round

There’s nothing new in policy and politics.  As the debate rages about research culture and environment, how to measure it and whether we even should, there is a blog on Wonkhe reminiscing about the similar debate in 2009 around impact.

There’s an update from Research England here: Overall, the community has expressed clear support for the principle of an increased emphasis on PCE in the next REF, while outlining concern around the need for careful consideration of the reporting burden on the sector and the potential dangers of metricising culture or prescribing what good looks like.

Plans for taking this forward were confirmed in an update on people, culture and environment from UKRI which said that the extra time used by the postponement of the next REF from 2028 to 2029 would enable them to run a pilot exercise alongside  a project to develop a set of indicators.

  • The PCE indicators project will provide multiple opportunities for the sector to engage with the development of the PCE indicators. Desk-based research will draw on a variety of sources including Environment statements from REF 2021, feedback received through prior engagement and consultations with the sector, and other published reports. The initial consultation during spring 2024 will comprise in-person workshops in each of the four UK nations and a series of online thematic workshops. ….. Once the draft indicators have been developed, and in parallel with the PCE pilot exercise, a second round of consultation with the sector will be conducted gathering feedback through workshops and an open consultation (survey). ..
  • The pilot exercise will focus on a sample of UoAs (we anticipate in the region of 8 UoAs) selected to provide a general insight into the assessment of PCE for similar subject areas and to highlight particular issues or special considerations that may exist for the assessment of PCE. ….
  • Institutions will be invited in March 2024 to apply to participate in the pilot exercise, …. We anticipate selecting around 30 institutions to make submissions to the pilot exercise. …
  • Institutions that take part in the pilot will be expected to produce unit-level submissions for between 1 and 8 UoAs and also an institution-level submission. These submissions will be based on the indicators identified and developed templates emerging from the commissioned work on PCE indicators.
  • Pilot panels will be comprised of academics, research professionals and others with appropriate expertise. Recruitment of pilot panels is anticipated to be in April 2024 and will be through an open process, to a set of tightly defined criteria. …..

Doctoral funding and training

There’s a UKRI update out with a new statement of expectations for Doctoral Training.

Education research areas of interest

You can read about the DfE’s areas of research interest here.  What is this for?

  • In practical terms we hope this ARI document will steer and support researchers in developing relevant evidence and enable them to make stronger funding bids by linking their work to these priorities.

The areas of interest include:

  • Skills: Drive economic growth through improving the skills pipeline, levelling up productivity and supporting people to work. 1a. What are the country’s future skills needs to support growth and prosperity, particularly in STEM and green skills? 1b. What are the organisational challenges and opportunities facing higher education (HE) and further education (FE) institutions? 1c. What are the funding, system and market challenges and opportunities for increasing participation in technical education, apprenticeships and adult training? 1d. What are the drivers of UK and foreign students’ decisions about pathways into and out of FE and HE, including impact of funding, finance and experience
  • Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Technology: Harness the use of AI, technology and data across our sectors to support safe and effective use within education 5a. What are the potential impacts of AI, and how can new technologies be used safely and effectively within education? 5b. How can the impact of digital technology be robustly measured, and implemented in a way that supports teachers and students? 5c. What approaches or innovation are needed to support the efficient handling of data within education settings?

Education

Complaints

The Office of the Independent Adjudicator published its annual report.

  • In 2023 we received 3,137 complaints, our highest ever number. This is 10% more than in 2022, and followed increases in each of the previous six years

They are also consulting on new scheme rules: this consultation closes on 8th March 2024.

The OIA handles individual complaints and deals with complainants and universities quietly, but also publishes anonymised case studies which make interesting reading and a useful reference point.

The latest from January is on complaints relating to accommodation:

  • The case summaries show that students are not always clear about what they have signed up to, or about how to formally raise issues when they have concerns. It is important that providers’ information for students is as clear and easily accessible as possible, keeping in mind that for some students it is the first time they have lived independently away from home, or lived in a different country.
  • Sometimes the issues raised in complaints are about the accommodation itself, and sometimes they involve the student’s behaviour or that of other students in the accommodation. It’s important that the provider investigates the issues, considers the impact on those involved and takes steps to minimise it, and keeps the student informed. ..
  • We encourage early resolution of complaints where possible. In some of the cases we have seen, the provider recognised issues either during its internal processes or in the early stages of the student’s complaint to us and made an offer to the student to put things right. Sometimes complaints to us are settled in this way. Where the student doesn’t accept what we consider to be a reasonable offer, the complaint to us will usually be Not Justified on the basis that a reasonable offer has been made, and the case summaries include some cases with this outcome.

The previous update relates to disciplinary matters.

You can search them all by theme here

Staff/student ratio and student experience

An interesting blog for Wonkhe in Feb 24 demonstrates that there is no correlation between lower SSRs and student experience however you cut the data:

  • Plotting student:staff ratio against NSS fails to show even a non-significant relationship between satisfaction and staff numbers. Looking primarily at NSS question 15 (which relates to the ease of contacting teaching staff and seems most likely to see an impact from staff student ratios) there are no clear relationships between our two variables in any subject area”.

A common narrative when this is discussed is that SSR data is distorted by research only staff, but the Wonkhe data excludes them.

Generative AI and assessments

There’s a new HEPI/Kortext policy note out: Provide or punish? Students’ views on generative AI in higher education.  There are some interesting findings including:

  • More than half of students (53%) have used generative AI to help them with assessments. The most common use is as an ‘AI private tutor’ (36%), helping to explain concepts.
  • More than one-in-eight students (13%) use generative AI to generate text for assessments, but they typically edit the content before submitting it. Only 5% of students put AI-generated text into assessments without editing it personally.
  • More than a third of students who have used generative AI (35%) do not know how often it produces made-up facts, statistics or citations (‘hallucinations’).
  • A ‘digital divide’ in AI use may be emerging. Nearly three-fifths of students from the most privileged backgrounds (58%) use generative AI for assessments, compared with just half (51%) from the least privileged backgrounds. Those with Asian ethnic backgrounds are also much more likely to have used generative AI than White or Black students and male students use it more than female students

Based on these findings, the authors recommend:

  • Institutions should develop clear policies on what AI use is acceptable and what is unacceptable.
  • Where AI has benefits, institutions should teach students how to use it effectively and how to check whether the content it produces is of high quality.
  • To prevent the ‘digital divide’ from growing, institutions should provide AI tools for those who cannot afford them when they have been identified as benefitting learning.
  • The Department for Education (DfE) and devolved administrations should urgently commission reviews to explore how academic assessment will be affected by AI

There’s a Wonkhe article by Jim Dickinson here.

Quality assessments

The Office for Students have published two more quality assessment reports: concerns were found in both of these, to add to the two previous ones where concerns were found.  Most of the reports published so far relate to business and management, the one published so far for computing  confirmed that there were no concerns.  There are a few more expected.

It is helpful to look at some of the themes picked out in the four reports so far that identified regulatory concerns:

Theme Finding
Teaching quality, delivery and learning resources ·       The teaching and learning resources used to teach disciplinary knowledge were not consistently up-to-date.

·       The manner of teaching delivery meant that courses were not consistently effectively delivered.

·       Delivered content was not consistently informed by up-to-date, discipline specific academic theory and research. This meant that courses did not consistently require students to develop relevant skills.

·       The cohort of students recruited by the university required high quality resources to support their independent learning. However, the quality of the virtual learning environment (VLE) was not consistent, with some modules having inadequate learning materials to facilitate the cohort of students’ learning

Course delivery: format and timetable Not enough flexibility in course delivery to support the cohort of students recruited, namely not providing sufficient flexibility when students had to work to finance their studies or have caring responsibilities, having recognised that this was a specific feature of their intake.
Academic support Student academic support needs were not consistently identified, limiting the opportunity for senior and academic staff to enhance the quality of poor-performing modules and improve the academic experience of students.
Monitoring and management of attendance and engagement Inadequate central monitoring and pro-active management of engagement and attendance and over-reliance on individual academic staff to follow up.  Recommendations included:

·       Clear lines of responsibility at faculty and university level regarding who the lead for continuation is, and further channelling of university-level resource, expertise and effort towards the continuation problem in the Business School.

·       Systematic analysis of student failures on modules and historical withdrawals, to provide a more detailed picture and understanding of why students do not continue their studies at the university.

·       Better real-time monitoring of engagement and a university-level set of criteria that can be used to identify a student who may be at risk of dropping out, combined with systematic analysis of student behaviour and non-attendance so that proactive additional support can be offered

Assessment and feedback ·       The format for providing formative feedback on assessments may not have been sufficient for some students across a number of modules reviewed. … the assessment team considered that ensuring consistent access to formative feedback is a step that could have been taken to ensure students have sufficient academic support to succeed

·       A review of examination board processes and module performance criteria to ensure that under-performing modules are being picked up and addressed through the quality assurance and enhancement system.

Allowing up to six attempts to pass an assessment (for those students that resit a module) without a clear underpinning pedagogic rationale, brought into question the rigour of the assessment and diluted the challenge provided that was relevant to the level of the course. The team considered that because those students were permitted to attempt an assessment that was lacking in rigour and challenge, it meant that those students were not assessed effectively
Academic misconduct Support for avoiding potential academic misconduct was not consistently provided in assessment feedback via the online assessment platform at Level 4
Foundation year students Insufficient academic support for foundation year students once they progressed onto the main programme – support should have continued at higher levels
Staffing Insufficient staff to provide adequate support, impacting personal tutoring, assessment and feedback and academic support
There was considerable variability between the pedagogical and teaching skills of different academic staff across business and management courses including an overreliance on PTHP which had an impact on learning and outcomes
Leadership and governance A lack of adequate educational leadership and academic governance was affecting the overall academic experience of students: this included gaps in key leadership roles and no plans or arrangements to cover, and inadequate noting and oversight of key data and action plans

There’s a Wonkhe blog on the latest two reports here.

Why do these matter?  Here is a reminder of the relevant licence conditions invoked by the OfS in relation to these issues

Apprenticeships

It’s National Apprenticeship Week and so a new standard has been announced: this time for teachers.  You can read the Secretary of State’s announcement here.

  • With a TDA, you’ll work in a school while you gain qualified teacher status (QTS), which you need in order to teach in most schools in England. At the same time, you’ll be studying for a degree.
  • It means trainees won’t take on student debt and will earn while they learn, supporting those who may not have the financial means to do a traditional university-based teacher training programme.
  • It will be available for people to train as both primary and secondary teachers.
  • Subject to final approval, schools will be able to start recruiting apprentices from autumn 2024, with the first trainees beginning the programme in 2025.

Student experience, wellbeing and finances

The Office for Students have announced that they will launch before the end of the academic year a competitive process to allocate £2m towards projects to “seed new practices and test new ideas” supporting equality of opportunity.

Mental health and duty of care

Wonkhe have the story about a recent coroner’s report.

There is a first report from the Department for Education’s HE Mental Health Implementation Taskforce.  Wonkhe are critical in a blog here.

As a reminder what this was for and a summary of the progress made so far:

Objective: adoption of common principles and baselines for approaches across providers, such as through sector led charters

  • The Minister for Skills, Apprenticeships and Higher Education wrote to all HEPs in June 2023 asking for ownership of mental health at an executive level to drive adoption of best practice. A target was also set for all universities to join the UMHC Programme by September 2024. In October 2023 Student Minds confirmed significant progress had been made, with 96 members now signed up across the UK, representing a greater than 50% increase in membership. Of those, 83 are English members, over two thirds of the cohort in scope of the UMHC Programme target.
  • Student Minds intends to undertake a light-touch review of the Charter and award process to begin early in 2024.
  • Next steps: Understand the means by which HEPs construct their mental health strategies and engage with the sector to understand where additional work may be impactful (particularly with regards to the formulation and oversight of HEP mental health strategies) by May 2024.

Objective: better identification of students in need of support and a clear user journey for accessing that support

Workshops have been held and three broad approaches considered:

  • Staff training and competence
  • Mental health analytics
  • Encouraging early disclosures

Next steps: It is proposed that the following work take place prior to the second stage Taskforce report:

  • Consider the evidence for the effectiveness of different training programmes to raise awareness for non-specialist staff, identify examples of good practice, and share these within HEPs as well as sector agencies which may design and deliver staff accreditation processes (e.g. Advance HE);
  • Work with the sector, and potentially Jisc and system suppliers, to develop and promote guidance for HEPs looking to implement student analytics or other related data systems, paying particular attention to supporting HEPs to improve their data governance; and
  • Work with UCAS to support their developing work around student surveys and references, facilitating discussions between UCAS, HEPs, FECs and schools to understand what additional information might be collected, the means to do so, and how this might be shared with HEPs. Feed into the work of the HE Student Support Champion on understanding and establishing methods of addressing barriers to schools and FECs sharing information with HEPs on students’ previous educational records, including their mental health needs.

Objective: development of more sensitive policies, procedures, and communications within a proposed HE Student Commitment

Sector engagement has uncovered challenges faced by HEPs when endeavouring to make improvements in this area:

  • the need for a broader range of good practice exemplars, in particular compassionate policies;
  • the requirement to adapt existing and emerging practice to the precise requirements of each individual provider;
  • the centrality of creating a consistent, whole institutional approach, where many sources of communications and interactions become mutually reinforcing;
  • the vital role of senior leaders in setting the tone for a compassionate culture;
  • the volume of material to be revised, in the context of resource constraints and competing priorities; and
  • the balance between compassion and the need to be clear about requirements and potential consequences of non-observance.

Next steps It is proposed that the following work take place prior to the publication of the second stage report:

  • Consult with the wider sector and students on the agreed principles;
  • Continue to engage with the sector to identify further examples of embedding compassionate principles into policies, procedures, and communications;
  • Develop material that can be utilised by the OIA;
  • Continue to promote the importance of this area with senior leaders with responsibility for overseeing policies, procedures, and communications, and more broadly with HEPs and their professional bodies; and
  • Deliver a national event to promote the Commitment

Objective: Effective local case reviews and engagement with the National Review of HE Suicides, including generation of insights into mental health services on offer by HEPs, and exploration of the methods for achieving greater timeliness and transparency on suicide data

  • In November 2023 DfE appointed the University of Manchester’s National Confidential Inquiry into Suicide and Safety in Mental Health (NCISH) to conduct the National Review.
  • In scope of the National Review will be suspected suicides and attempted suicides with an initial focus on those that have occurred in the Academic Year 2023/24. HEPs will be encouraged to submit their reviews to NCISH. Guidance to support HEPs to engage with this activity will be shared with the sector in early 2024.
  • HEPs will be able to make use of the template for serious incident reviews set out in the UUK Postvention guidance, published in December 2022, though this template is not mandatory. The National Review’s final report will be published by spring 2025 and will outline lessons around good practice and areas for improvement, drawn out from submitted reviews.

International

International student admissions

Immigration, including the impact of international students, remains a hot political topic.

The big story in the Sunday times on 28th Jan was about international students taking the place of better qualified home students.  The paper is behind a paywall, but the Guardian report is here.  There has been a lot of pushback on the original story which seemed to compare admissions requirements for foundation courses with degree courses.

There’s a UUK update on the story here.

UUK also published on 2nd Feb a statement about what they are going to do in response:

  1. Review the Agent Quality Framework (AQF) and make recommendations to enhance the system. We will:
  • Work with our members and partners to ensure adoption of the AQF across the sector.
  • Make recommendations on how the AQF and wider UK data infrastructure can be enhanced to identify and address bad practice and improve resilience.
  1. Review of quality and comparability of International Foundation Programmes (IFPs) and Foundation Programmes for Home (UK) students. We will: commission the Quality Assurance Agency (QAA) to undertake a rapid review of IFPs. The review will compare requirements of International and Home Foundation Programmes, including entry requirements.
  2. Update the Admissions Code of Practice to clearly state its applicability to international recruitment. We will: review the Admissions Code of Practice to signpost where the Code is expected to apply to international recruitment and update the Code if appropriate.

The DfE are also looking recruitment practices: see this Research Professional article.

International student outcomes

This report in the FT talks about data from the Migration Observatory at Oxford University.

  • The number of overseas graduates staying on in the UK to work in care rose more than six-fold last year, according to research that puts a spotlight on unintended consequences of the government’s migration policy.
  • More than half of all foreign students who switched from graduate visas to skilled worker visas in the year ending June 2023 went into care work, the Migration Observatory think-tank at Oxford university found via freedom of information requests.
  • Some 26,200 overseas graduates were recruited into the care sector, from 3,900 in the year to June 2022, the data showed.
  • “Most international students graduate from masters programmes in subjects like business, engineering and computer science, so it is striking to see so many take roles in care, which requires few formal qualifications,” Ben Brindle, researcher at the Migration Observatory and co-author of the report, said.
  • Brindle noted that while some graduates taking care roles may want to work in the sector, others will have taken on the work, despite being heavily overqualified, “because it provides a route to stay in the UK”.

There’s a response here on Wonkhe from a former international student.

Of course similar stories appear frequently about the number of home graduates taking less highly skilled work, usually linked to the outcomes and quality discussion, such as this one from July when the government confirmed their approach to student number controls linked to the OfS quality assessments (see above under Education for some context for these).

National Health Executive Magazine article tackles misinformation

Our article in the January/February edition of the National Health Executive (NHE) magazine highlights misinformation around trials of the use of drones to transport medical items. The article, written in collaboration with Dr Andy Oakey at University of Southampton draws on findings from the three-year E-Drone research project and is part of a targeted dissemination plan as this project draws to a close. The article challenges assumptions around cost and carbon savings whilst questioning the need to transport items more quickly. It offers some quick ‘filters’ to apply when considering the role of drones in NHS logistics systems. Read it here for a taste of E-Drone Research (see project website for much, much more…)

REF Impact Subcommittee Chair: deadline extended to submit Expression of Interest

Would you like to play a key role in supporting preparations for the Engagement & Impact element of BU’s REF2029 submission?

The REF Impact Subcommittee (RISC) has a vacancy for a Chair, which is open to all members of the Professoriate. You are invited to submit an Expression of Interest by 5pm Monday 5th February.

RISC reports on progress in the development of impact case studies to the REF Committee, making recommendations on impact resourcing and ensuring evidence of impact is robustly recorded.

 Key responsibilities include:

  1. Chairing the quarterly RISC meetings.
  2. Ensuring discussion is fair, open and supportive.
  3. Providing guidance in determining where greatest resourcing and support may be required, according to progress updates from impact champions.
  4. Acting as champion for raising awareness across BU of the importance of REF impact case studies in relation to QR funding for the institution as a whole.

Application process:

Please submit a short case (one page max.) to impact@bournemouth.ac.uk, outlining why you are interested in this important role, and the knowledge, skills and experience you think you could bring to it. Applications from underrepresented groups (e.g. women, minority ethnic, declared disability) are particularly welcome. The deadline is: 5pm, Monday 5th February.

EoIs are reviewed against the selection criteria detailed below by a gender-balanced selection panel comprising:

  • Chair of the REF Steering Group
  • Chair of the REF Committee
  • RDS representative

In the event of there being just one EoI received for a particular panel member role, the panel will still review it using the selection criteria to ensure the applicant is suitable for the role.

Further details on the role and selection criteria are here:

Chair REF Impact Subcommittee role descriptor

Process and criteria for RISC Chair recruitment

Selection criteria

The panel will give each EoI a score out of 15, based on how well they score against the criteria outlined below. These are equally weighted, with each criterion carrying a total possible score of 5. The panel will offer the role to the applicants with the highest ranked EoIs. A member of the panel will provide feedback to all applicants.

  • Knowledge and experience of REF and research impact (scored out of 5): The Chair/Deputy Chair are expected to have a thorough knowledge of the REF process, preparations and timeline and the requirements relating to the impact submission for REF2029. Ideally, they will have been involved in preparations for previous REF exercises or submitted an impact case study. It is expected that they will be practising researchers and will have a breadth of understanding of research across BU.
  • Experience of chairing meetings and reaching consensus to ensure sound decision-making (scored out of 5): The Chair/Deputy Chair will need to be able to chair meetings effectively and ensure prioritisation decisions are made in alignment with the requirements of the impact element of BU’s REF submission.
  • Plans for leading the impact agenda across the University (scored out of 5): The Chair/Deputy Chair are responsible for motivating the impact champions of each Unit of Assessment, as well as the wider research community, to optimise BU’s performance in the Engagement and Impact element of REF2029. They should have ideas for how they will do this.

Questions

Any queries regarding the process should be directed to impact@bournemouth.ac.uk. Specific questions about the Chair role should be directed to REF Committee Chair Professor Einar Thorson

RKEDF Workshop- Anatomy of an Impact Case Study

Anatomy of an Impact Case Study

 

This workshop is aimed at Academics and Researchers who would like to learn what an excellent REF impact case study looks like and how to start building your own case study from scratch.

We will look at the different sections of a case study and what is required for each one, then examine impact case studies from previous REFs to establish what the panels are looking for. We will then move on to thinking about what you would need to do to start building your own impact case study.

By the end of this session you will be familiar with the structure of an impact case study, what makes an excellent case study and what you will need in order to start building an impact case study from your own research.

Thursday 22nd February, 13:00 – 15:00 at Talbot Campus

Book your place  here under Impact Essentials: Anatomy of an Impact Case Study – 22/02/2024’ in the drop-down menu

For any queries regarding this workshop, please contact impact@bournemouth.ac.uk

REF Impact Subcommittee Chair: call for EoIs

Help guide the university’s impact submission

The Chair of the REF Impact Subcommittee (RISC) has an important role to play in supporting preparations for the Engagement and Impact element of Bournemouth University’s (BU) REF2029 submission.

RISC reports on progress in the development of impact case studies and against impact strategies to the REF Committee, sharing intelligence from across BU and the wider HE sector, making recommendations on impact resourcing and ensuring evidence of impact is robustly recorded.

The Chair, who should be a member of the Professoriate, needs an institution-wide perspective on the development of impact case studies and the new impact narratives, and to ensure the subcommittee is effective in reviewing progress.

 Key responsibilities include:

  1. Chairing the quarterly RISC meetings.
  2. Ensuring discussion is fair, open and supportive.
  3. Providing guidance in determining where greatest resourcing and support may be required, according to progress updates from impact champions.
  4. Acting as champion for raising awareness across BU of the importance of REF impact case studies in relation to QR funding for the institution as a whole.

Application process:

Research Development and Support (RDS) runs an expression of interest (EoI) call, inviting all those who are interested to put forward a short case (one page maximum) outlining why they are interested and the knowledge, skills and experience they think they could bring to the role. Applications from underrepresented groups (e.g. women, minority ethnic, declared disability) are particularly welcome. The deadline is: 5pm, Monday 29th January.

EoIs are submitted to RDS (impact@bournemouth.ac.uk) and reviewed against the selection criteria detailed below by a gender-balanced selection panel comprising:

  • Chair of the REF Steering Group
  • Chair of the REF Committee
  • RDS representative

In the event of there being just one EoI received for a particular panel member role, the panel will still review it using the selection criteria to ensure the applicant is suitable for the role.

Further details on the role and selection criteria are here:

Chair REF Impact Subcommittee role descriptor

Process and criteria for RISC Chair recruitment

Selection criteria

The panel will give each EoI a score out of 15, based on how well they score against the criteria outlined below. These are equally weighted, with each criterion carrying a total possible score of 5. The panel will offer the role to the applicants with the highest ranked EoIs. A member of the panel will provide feedback to all applicants.

  • Knowledge and experience of REF and research impact (scored out of 5): The Chair/Deputy Chair are expected to have a thorough knowledge of the REF process, preparations and timeline and the requirements relating to the impact submission for REF2029. Ideally, they will have been involved in preparations for previous REF exercises or submitted an impact case study. It is expected that they will be practising researchers and will have a breadth of understanding of research across BU.
  • Experience of chairing meetings and reaching consensus to ensure sound decision-making (scored out of 5): The Chair/Deputy Chair will need to be able to chair meetings effectively and ensure prioritisation decisions are made in alignment with the requirements of the impact element of BU’s REF submission.
  • Plans for leading the impact agenda across the University (scored out of 5): The Chair/Deputy Chair are responsible for motivating the impact champions of each Unit of Assessment, as well as the wider research community, to optimise BU’s performance in the Engagement and Impact element of REF2029. They should have ideas for how they will do this.

Questions

Any queries regarding the process should be directed to impact@bournemouth.ac.uk. Specific questions about the Chair role should be directed to REF Committee Chair Professor Einar Thorson.

Free research impact training from Fast Track Impact

Free sessions from Fast Track Impact on preparing for REF2029, scoping an ethics of engagement and impact, integrating impact into your next funding bid and influencing policy. Book soon as some of these events only have a few spaces left.


Preparing for REF2029

Date: 5 February, 2024

Time: 10:00 – 13:00

This session will help you monitor, evaluate and evidence your impact.

Key benefits:

  • Learn about evidence-based principles for delivering research impact when you don’t have much time
  • Discover easy and quick-to-use templates you can use immediately to:
    • Prioritise who to engage with first
    • Create a powerful impact plan that will guarantee your research makes a difference without wasting your time
  • Learn how to monitor, evaluate and evidence impact convincingly in your case study
  • Discover easy and quick-to-use tools to fix problems with significance or reach in case studies
  • Find out what makes a 4* impact case study, based on research into high versus low-scoring cases in REF2014 and a worked example showing the anatomy of a 4* claim from REF2021
  • Discuss impact plans that might develop into REF2028 case studies with colleagues

Scoping an ethics of engagement and impact

Date: 26 February, 2024

Time: 13:00 – 14:00

  • As governments and funders around the world invest in the impact of research as an unquestioned good, there are growing concerns around the ethics of pursuing impact.
  • Should University ethics committees consider engagement and impact plans for projects that are working on controversial topics or with vulnerable groups – even if their research doesn’t involve human subjects and so would not normally fall under their jurisdiction?
  • How should researchers and their institutions manage issues such as:
    • Undeclared conflicts of interest (e.g., arising from funding and promotion outcomes from the Research Excellence Framework in the UK)
    • Positive bias in the presentation of impacts (e.g. research leading to economic impacts via questionable ethical practices that also led to significant harm to the environment or human rights), and
    • Concerns about how vulnerable individuals and groups have been used to generate or corroborate impacts?

Integrating impact into your next funding bid

Date: 20 May, 2024

Time: 10:00 – 12:00

Learn how to increase your success rates and integrate impact into your next research proposal

Key benefits:

  • Discuss insider tips and tricks, and get bid writing tools to help you co-produce your next proposal with the people most likely to benefit from your research. 
  • Discuss examples of impact sections from real cases for support 
  • Learn how to integrate impact convincingly with your proposal, using a mapping approach to ensure your impact goals map onto your impact problem statement, beneficiaries and impact generation activities, whilst managing risks and assumptions. 
  • Power all of this with a systematic stakeholder analysis and impact logic model that will make it easy to articulate specific and credible impacts.

Free training: Influencing policy

Date: 2 September, 2024

Time: 10:00 – 13:00

This session is based on research by Prof Reed and the latest evidence on how to get research evidence into policy.

Key benefits:

  • Discover quick and easy tools you can use immediately to:
    • Prioritise which policy actors to engage with first and how to instantly get their attention
    • Create a powerful impact plan that will guarantee your research makes a difference without wasting your time
  • Discuss how to design an effective policy brief, infographic or presentation 
  • Learn how to get your research into policy, wherever you work in the world, by building trust and working with intermediaries 
  • Be inspired by primary research and case studies

Free training: The Productive Researcher

Date: 2 December, 2024

Time: 10:00 – 13:00

Find out how you can become significantly more productive as a researcher in a fraction of your current working day.

Key benefits:

  • Leave with practical tools you can use immediately to prioritise limited time to achieve more ambitious career goals
  • Gain a deeper understanding of the values that underpin your work, and the reasons why you feel time pressured
  • Identify priorities that are as much about being as they are about doing, and that are stretching, motivational, authentic, relational and tailored to your unique strengths and abilities
  • Turn these into an “experiment” to make practical changes that create a positive feedback loop between your priorities and your motivation, so you can become increasingly focussed and productive