Tagged / event

Need to publish a paper quickly for the REF?

open access logo, Public Library of ScienceThen come to our free Open Access event this Wednesday in the EBC!

Publishing via an open access route often results in much faster publication times, meaning your research is out in the public domain much more quickly than traditional subscription journal routes.

BU fully supports open access publishing and has recently launched a central Open Access Publication Fund to enable academic staff to access funds to easily publish via open access outlets.

We’re holding an open access publishing event this Wednesday between 10am-12:30pm in the EBC (7th floor).

You can access the programme here: BU Open Access event programme

It is free for BU staff and students to attend. Refreshments and lunch will be provided.

To reserve a place at the event please contact Anita Somner by email.

We look forward to seeing you there! 😀

Tourism, Climate Change & Sustainability top of BU’s agenda

BU’s International Centre for Tourism and Hospitality Research (ICTHR) is delighted to be hosting the second global conference to explore real-world issues.

The international conference: ‘Tourism, Climate Change and Sustainability’ will take place from 13-14 September 2012. The emphasis of the event is to discuss and disseminate conceptual ideas and contested relationships between climate change, sustainability and tourism and examine worldwide responses and exchange cutting-edge research.

Dr Maharaj Vijay Reddy and Dr Keith Wilkes are the organisers of this conference, who are also editing a book jointly on this title for Earthscan London. The book launch will also take place during the conference next year.

This conference will feature keynote presentations from high-level policy makers from international agencies UNWTO and UNESCO MAB, the European Commission, leading research institutions and the private sector. Among these distinguished speakers are:

  • Mr Luigi Cabrini, Director UNWTO Sustainable Tourism, Madrid.
  • Dr Ishwaran Natarajan, Director UNESCO Division for Earth & Ecological Sciences, Paris.
  • Dr Richard Butler, Emeritus Professor, University of Strathclyde, Glasgow.
  • Dr Stephan Harrison, University of Exeter & Oxford University Centre for the Environment.

Breakout sessions are planned to enable speakers to interact on a more personal level with delegates as well as for attendees to present their research on these important topics. In addition, leading publishers will be present throughout the duration of the conference to meet with delegates and discuss future publishing opportunities.

Dr Maharaj Vijay Reddy commented “we are pleased to announce this event on a globally crucial title. It will facilitate cutting-edge debates, timely knowledge exchange and networking”.

Dr Keith Wilkes says hosting the second ‘Tourism, Climate Change and Sustainability’ conference is “very exciting and, coupled with the high-calibre keynote speakers, is further evidence of the position of BU as a driving force at the forefront of global tourism research, teaching and professional practice”.

The first call for abstracts was released recently.

EPRSC announces new open access policy

open access logo, Public Library of ScienceThe EPSRC has introduced a new policy on access to outputs arising from funded research:

EPSRC Council has agreed to mandate open access publication, with the proviso that academics should be able to choose the approach best suited to their field of research. This mandate is now being implemented: EPSRC requires authors to comply with this mandate and ensure that all published research articles arising from EPSRC-sponsored research, and which are submitted for publication on or after 1st September 2011, must become available on an Open Access basis through any appropriate route. As now, publication costs may be recovered either as ‘directly incurred costs’ (if incurred before the end date of the relevant research project) or as indirect costs (and hence factored into the fEC indirect cost rate for the relevant research organisation).

This change in policy means that the EPSRC will now accept that researchers have met their open access requirements if they make their research outputs available via either the Gold OA or Green OA route.

Gold Open Access (pay-to-publish) – peer-reviewed papers published in fully Open Access journals which do not charge subscription fees, or in ‘hybrid’ subscription journals which enable free access to ‘pre-paid’ articles. Subject to certain criteria the publishing fees may be met from direct or indirect costs on EPSRC Research Grants.

Green Open Access – research is published in traditional subscription journals and authors self-archive their papers (as accepted for publication) in a digital online repository, such as BU’s institutional repository BURO. The publisher’s policy is a crucial issue as far as Green OA is concerned. Some publishers have repository-friendly policies, but others embargo deposit of full texts until a year or more after initial publication. SHERPA-RoMEO has a comprehensive list of publishers and their policies to check before deciding where to publish.

The EPSRC’s policy states that the costs of Gold OA can be met from the grant as a direct cost only where that cost is incurred during the period of the grant. If work is published after the grant is complete, then the institution must stump up the cash to publish or use a portion of the indirect costs to fund this. Earlier this year BU launched the BU Open Access Publication Fund to support researchers in making their research freely available.

Find out more about Open Access publishing at BU’s FREE Open Access publishing event on Wednesday 26 October between 10am-12:30pm in the EBC. To book your place please email Anita Somner.

Centrally funded places available on bid writing workshop (GIC Ltd, London, 29 November)

29th November 2011, London

GIC Ltd are running a one-day seminar called Total Proposal which will demonstrate the techniques that will make your proposals the ones which win!

Success depends on delivering a winning proposal – a strong selling document which the client will want to buy.  The seminar gives institutions not only the practical tools of proposal preparation, such as bidding plans and checklists, but also shows a range of winning techniques and “selling” devices that will positively differentiate your proposal from those of your competitors.

Half the day is dedicated to practical exercises and a “real life” proposal case study.

Preparing a competitive proposal is a time and resource intensive exercise. As the complexity of tender dossiers, terms of reference and compliance requirements have increased, so have the costs of not winning the business.

Attendees will:
– Refresh their approaches to the preparation of proposals
– Acquire new presentation techniques
– See how to give proposals a competitive edge
– Learn how to maximise the evaluation scoring of proposals.

Colleagues from CRE Operations attended the course earlier this year and found it extremely useful.

Places are ÂŁ295 (+ VAT). The RDU has funding to support up to five BU academics to attend the workshop. If you are interested in attending please contact Julie Northam as soon as possible to book a place.

Reminder of the Open Access event on 26 October

open access logo, Public Library of ScienceCome and find out all about open access publishing!

To celebrate the launch of BU’s new Open Access Publication Fund we’re holding an open access (OA) publishing event on 26 October between 10am-12:30pm in the EBC (7th floor).

The aim of the event is to dispell some of the myths surrounding OA publishing and alleviate concerns about publishing through this route, whilst discussing the benefits and opportunities of making your work freely available.

The event will open with a keynote presentation from one of the world’s leading OA experts Dr Alma Swan, followed by a presentation from Willow Fuchs from the Centre for Research and Communications at Nottingham University who will be speaking about the SHERPA open access projects. The event will also feature talks from two BU academics: Prof Edwin van Teijlingen who has published via OA journals and is an OA journal editor, and Prof Peter Thomas who has also published via OA outlets. There will also be the opportunity to find out more information about the new BU Open Access Publication Fund, and how you can access funds for OA publication costs.

Dr Alma Swan is one of the leading figures in the field of OA publishing. She is the co-founder and director of Key Perspectives Ltd, a consultancy firm specialising in scholarly communication, and holds honorary positions with the University of Southampton and the University of Warwick. Alma is Convenor for Enabling Open Scholarship, the global organisation of universities promoting the principles of open scholarship in the academic community. It is a great honour to welcome her to BU!

The event will take place on Wednesday 26 October between 10:00-12:30. It is free for BU staff and students to attend. Refreshments and lunch will be provided.

To reserve a place at the event please contact Anita Somner by email.

We look forward to seeing you there! 😀

Got a burning question on biodiversity?

Live, interactive UN webcast: The UN Decade on Biodiversity 2011-2020.

On Tuesday 20th September there will be a live and interactive web TV programme from New York, where two of the key figures driving the response to the planet’s loss of biodiversity will be answering your questions about the UN Decade on Biodiversity (UNDB).  You can submit questions to the panel before the programme here. 

The panel will be Ahmed Djoghlaf, who is Executive Secretary of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), and Monique Barbut who is CEO and Chair of the Global Environment Facility (GEF), whose funding will be vital in assisting developing countries to implement the CBD’s Strategic Plan.  They will discuss the CBD’s bold plans and the importance of taking action now to avert even more serious loss of biodiversity; how the entire UN system is driving to make the UNBD a lasting success, and the role of the GEF.

Biodiversity is of vital importance to us all. It is the basis for a wide range of ecosystem services on which we depend for food security, human health, clean air and water. Biodiversity contributes to local livelihoods and economic development and is essential in the fight against poverty. 

Despite its huge importance, the planet’s biodiversity is being lost at an unprecedented rate.  The main causes, including habitat and climate change, overexploitation and pollution, are constant or increasing in their intensity. As a result ecosystems such as forests, coral reefs and the rivers of our world are declining in most parts of the world and many species moving closer to extinction. The earliest and most severe impacts of biodiversity loss are felt by the poor, but ultimately all societies and communities will suffer.

Faced with this reality, in May 2010 the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) urged that concerted and effective action was needed if we were to avoid reaching irreversible global ecological tipping points. Five months later the CBD adopted the Strategic Plan for Biodiversity 2011-2020 to inspire and drive change by every country.

In support of this Plan, the United Nations General Assembly declared 2011 – 2020 as the UN Decade on Biodiversity (UNDB). Through the Decade, the entire UN system will work to support implementation of the Strategic Plan for Biodiversity and its 20 ambitious yet achievable targets, collectively known as the Aichi Targets.  The UNDB will encourage every government, business and individual to take biodiversity into account in all their planning and actions. 

Ahmed Djoghlaf, Executive Secretary of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) and Monique Barbut, CEO and Chair of the Global Environment Facility (GEF) will be live online at http://www.studiotalk.tv/show/live-interactive-un-webcast-the-un-decade-on-biodiversity-20112020  at 5pm UK time (12.00 EST / 16.00 GMT / 18.00 CET) on Tuesday 20th September.

For more information visit: www.cbd.int/2011-2020

Come and meet the Research Development Unit! THIS WEEK!

This Thursday between 11am-1pm we will be commandeering a space in the Atrium and available to talk to all of you lovely people about Research!

If you want to know about the new BU internal research funds (the Open Access Publication Fund and the Research Development Fund), the internal peer review service (RPRS), UK, EU and international funding opportunities, the REF, BU’s new research management system, the changes we’re making to RED, Research Professional, the emerging BU Research Themes, publishing and research outputs, in fact anything at all to do with research then now is your chance!

Drop by and have an informal chat with us. There might even be  a cake in it for you 🙂

Research is cool – come and find out how to get involved!

BU Open Access Publication Fund launch event – 26 October

open access logo, Public Library of ScienceCome and find out all about open access publishing!

To celebrate the launch of BU’s new Open Access Publication Fund we’re holding an open access (OA) publishing event on 26 October between 10am-12:30pm in the EBC (7th floor).

The aim of the event is to dispell some of the myths surrounding OA publishing and alleviate concerns about publishing through this route, whilst discussing the benefits and opportunities of making your work freely available.

The programme is still being finalised but the event will open with a keynote presentation from Dr Alma Swan, and will also feature a talk from Prof Edwin van Teijlingen (HSC) who has published via OA journals and is an OA journal editor. There will also be the opportunity to find out more information about the new BU Open Access Publication Fund, and how you can get involved.

Dr Alma Swan is one of the leading figures in the field of OA publishing. She is the co-founder and director of Key Perspectives Ltd, a consultancy firm specialising in scholarly communication, and holds honorary positions with the University of Southampton and the University of Warwick. Alma is Convenor for Enabling Open Scholarship, the global organisation of universities promoting the principles of open scholarship in the academic community. It is a great honour to welcome her to BU!

The event will take place on Wednesday 26 October; refreshments and lunch will be provided.

To reserve a place at the event please contact Anita Somner by email.

We look forward to seeing you there! 😀

Come and meet the RDU!

On Thursday 8 September between 11am-1pm we will be commandeering a space in the Atrium and available to talk to all of you lovely people about Research!

If you want to know about the new BU internal research funds (the Open Access Publication Fund and the Research Development Fund), the internal peer review service (RPRS), UK, EU and international funding opportunities, the REF, BU’s new research management system, the changes we’re making to RED, Research Professional, the emerging BU Research Themes, publishing and research outputs, in fact anything at all to do with research then now is your chance! Drop by and have an informal chat with us. There might even be  a cake in it for you 🙂

Research is cool – come and find out how to get involved!

Great events to launch the Digital Hub

We had two great events this week both hosted by the Digital Hub at Bournemouth University. The Digital Day on the 19th July took place at Kimmeridge House on Talbot Campus and the Digital Dinner at the Chewton Glen.

Both events were attended by the Vice Chancellor of the University, Professor John Vinney and by a range of businesses – large and small who had come to hear how Bournemouth University’s Digital Hub could provide them with knowledge and expertise to help them take advantage of the opportunities presented by the creative and digital economy.

There was a wide range of expertise on display – all of which you can find out more about on the Digital Hub website.

Delegates also had the pleasure of hearing an inspirational keynote speaker, Tiffany St James who, among a staggering array of roles, has advised the UK government on its social media and runs a series of workshops for The Guardian on digital media. Tiffany’s slides are available for download on this site. The event trended on Twitter (London) for 30 minutes #BUdigihub – testimony to the interest online and the live Twitter feed at the event.

Investigating academic impact at the London School of Economics: Blogs, Twitter and bumblebees!


The 'Current Thinking in Assessing Impact’ panel discussion during the LSE impact event on 12 June.

As someone who is still getting to grips with exactly how impact might be defined and operationalised for the REF, I went along to the Investigating Academic Impact Conference at LSE on the 12th June looking forward to learning more about precisely how we could create more effective impact case studies for the REF.  The day was opened by Patrick Dunleavy from the Impact of Social Sciences Project at LSE with the challenging statement that we needed to think about impact as a long-term, integral part of our research work and that simply trying to maximise impact for the REF was a short-term strategy.

What followed were sessions on how to use blogging, Wikipedia and Twitter to help enhance your electronic footprint and to engage with the public in new ways.  Following their own advice, all the presentations are now available, along with blogs and tweets, at http://blogs.lse.ac.uk/impactofsocialsciences/presentations/.  On the site there is a comprehensive (200-page) handbook detailing exactly how to increase your citations and how to achieve external impacts and, for those with a shorter attention span, there are some short how-to guides.  These include standard information about citation tools (such as ISI Web of Science and Scopus) as well as more esoteric measures of citation impact (such as the G-index and H scores).

There are also simple tips on how to get more widely read:

  • make sure your titles are informative
  • work on cross-disciplinary projects
  • build dissemination plans
  • have a distinctive name (many thanks to my parents on this one!).

The Impact of Social Sciences project at LSE has created a great resource which means that if you didn’t attend the day it doesn’t matter – the information is there for you to browse and look at anyway.

In the unexpected way that often happens at conferences, there are single pieces of information that are particularly memorable.  For this one it was the importance of the bumblebees!  At both the recent BU Research Impact Event and the LSE conference, one particular case study from the REF impact pilot exercise was singled out for particular praise. This was an elegant case study submitted by the University of Stirling on the conservation of bumblebees which was able to show tangible and far-reaching impact (for further details see http://www.hefce.ac.uk/research/ref/impact/ under Earth Systems and Environmental Sciences).  This is a great concrete example of how good impact case studies might be formulated and from which those still struggling with impact might be able to gain insights.

Perhaps one final message from the day was that, of course, if you wished to have academic impact then the best starting point of all is to have good research to talk about!

Siné McDougall

 

AHRC to hold four broadcast media training events in July and September 2011

Following on from the recent AHRC/Radio 3 New Generation Thinkers pilot scheme and the over-subscribed AHRC Broadcast Media workshops , the AHRC will be running four further broadcast media training events across the UK in July and September 2011.

These events will allow early career researchers in the arts and humanities to benefit from a day of radio/broadcast training.  

Each workshop will be led by at least three production and editorial staff from national broadcasters, including Radio Five.

Each day-long workshop will consist of:

· an introduction to programme-making;

· what you need to do to become the expert that programme producers will value;

· best practice tips based on experiences of academics already successful in broadcast media;

· developing and pitching your programme idea based on your research

· one to one sessions with a broadcaster for those who want detailed feedback on their programme idea.

With each workshop having only forty spaces available we will be allocating those spaces to the first forty people to email applying for a space. The four workshops will take place as follows:

1 – London July 8th

2 – Northumbria University July 11th

3 – London September 16th

4 – Manchester Metropolitan University September 19th

To apply to attend one of these workshops you need to email Jake Gilmore (j.gilmore@ahrc.ac.uk) and put your preferred venue and date in the subject line e.g. London July 8th.

Prof Rudy Gozlan – ‘A Fish Tale, World Preservation and You’

Last month Rudy Gozlan gave an inaugural lecture as part of BU’s Public Lecture series. He discussed the biggest issue in ecology right now – how we going to accommodate another 3 billion people on this planet in the next 40 years.  Watch Rudy’s lecture (‘A Fish Tale, world preservation and you’) on this subject here:  httpv://youtu.be/kK3IsaZ2FYc

Engaging Academic Social Scientists in Government Policy-Making and Delivery

Prof Martin Kretschmer, Professor of Information Jurisprudence and Research Centre Director for CIPPM in the Business School, recently attended a meeting organised by the British Academy and the ESRC on Engaging Academic Social Scientists in Government Policy-Making and Delivery. Here he provides an overview of the issues discussed at the event…

Making research relevant to policy is on the agenda of all Research Councils, as reflected in the Impact measure of REF 2014. The event was co-sponsored by the Government Heads of the Analytical Professions: Government Economic Service, Government Operational Research Service, Government Science & Engineering, Social Science in Government, and the Government Statistical Service. The programme and list of attendees is available here: British Academy event programme and delegate list

Some of the issues raised, and questions asked of the attendees included:

Q1: What do you think government should be doing more of to increase the influence of your research and expertise on government policy making and delivery?

Q2: What do you think the academic social science community should be doing more of to have a direct influence on government policy making and delivery?

Q3: What might encourage you to consider an advisory role to government, for example, as a social scientist on one of the government’s Scientific Advisory Committees?

I assume I was invited because I am just coming to the end of an ESRC Public Sector Fellowship in the UK Intellectual Property Office (within BIS). I also sit on the government’s Copyright Advisory Expert Group, and speak frequently on policy issues, for example last week (1 June) at a Hearing in the European Parliament on The Future of Copyright in the Digital Era. 

Below, I summarise a few points from the meeting that may be useful for the wider BU research community.

Prof Nick Pidgeon (Professor of Environmental Psychology, University of Cardiff, and Director of the Understanding Risk Research Group) offered 4 routes to influencing government:

  • Government contract research, including small review contracts.
  • RCUK (or similar) funding in policy relevant area.
  • Advisory Committees.
  • Indirectly, via dissemination through Royal Society, RSA, or similar.

Paul Johnson (Director of the Institute for Fiscal Studies): “Don’t expect to change government policy if your evidence points in a different direction.” There are two choices: EITHER Focus on points of detail within the policy direction given by government, OR Set agenda for 5 years hence.

Sir John Beddington (Government Chief Scientific Advisor) stressed the tightrope walk between advice that is a “challenge” and being labelled “unhelpful” (in Sir Humphries language). Academics should risk “challenge” even if it turns out to be “unhelpful”.

Prof Philip Lowe (Professor of Rural Economy, University of Newcastle, and Director of the Rural Economy and Land Use Programme): There is a paradox – How can a government department become a sophisticated consumer of research? Commissioning good research requires being able to know what you don’t know. Hard for civil servants and politicians. Important to build and sustains links over many years.

Prof Helen Roberts (Professor, General Adolescent and Paediatrics Unit, University College London, and non-executive director of the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence NICE): Public sector placements are very useful, both for academic and government, but governance of these grants can be cumbersome. [I can confirm that from my own secondment experience. At some point, there were suggestions that detailed delivery contracts would have to be drawn up between ESRC and BU, ESRC and BIS/IPO, BIS/IPO and BU. In the end, I was simply shown the Official Secrets Act, and the Code of Conduct for Civil Servants, and that was it.]

Importance of human dimension: “Most implementation comes though good relationships, not good research.”

Sharon Witherspoon (Deputy Director of the Nuffield Foundation, and in charge of research in social science and social policy): Most policy advisors double in “empirically informed counterfactuals”, and are normally grateful if offered help with: “What would happen if
” But academics can often make the most telling contribution by more radical reflection: “I wouldn’t start from here”. Governments are less likely to be open to that kind of challenge. Select Committees are becoming more independent of government (now have elected chairs). They can be a route to influence.

Paul Doyle (CEO, ESRC): The ESRC is building a database of government policy leads/contacts. Often it is impossible from government websites to identify the civil servants and special advisors dealing with specific policy issues. Government scientists should be encouraged to become members of Learned Societies.

 Key points from the open discussion:

  • Importance to keep independence by constructing portfolio of funders.
  • Economists are a separate breed in government. They have little concept of wider social research.
  • Responding to consultations is often a good first step to engagement.
  • Academics should use less jargon, shorter sentences.
  • Visual representation of research findings matters greatly.
  • Often it is useful to invite policy makers to academic events. They enjoy coming out of the office, and are less partisan/circumspect in a neutral environment.
  • There is an important corrective function for social scientists in assessing the presentation of data.
  • Difficulty in presenting the audit trail required for REF Impact. Government does have no interest in revealing the sources of its ideas, or it may be politically inconvenient to do so.

Investigating Academic Impact event at LSE on 13 June

The LSE Public Policy Group is running a free one day event on evidencing the impact of research.

Date: Monday 13 June 2011 
Time: 10-5pm 
Venue:  New Academic Building, LSE, London

Academics are increasingly being pressed to provide evidence of impact from their research on the world outside academia. And universities will have to provide evidence of impact as part of the new Research Excellence Framework. But there is confusion about the different definitions of impact that exist amongst funding bodies and research councils, and also about methods of measuring impact.

This one day conference will look at a range of issues surrounding the impact of academic work on government, business, communities and public debate. We will discuss what impact is, how impacts happen and innovative ways that academics can communicate their work. Practical sessions will look at how academic work has impact among policymaking and business communities. Also how academic communication can be improved and how individual academics can easily start to asses their own impact.

PANELS:
Research Impact and the REF
Professor Rick Rylance (Chief Executive, Arts and Humanities Research Council)
David Sweeney (Director of Research, Innovation and Skills, HEFCE)
Professor Paul Wiles (Panel Chair, social work and social policy panel, REF impact pilot)

Current Thinking in Assessing Impact
Professor Patrick Dunleavy (Impact of Social Sciences project, London School of Economics)
Professor Alan Hughes (Centre for Business Research, University of Cambridge)
Tomas Ulrichsen (Public and Corporate Economic Associates)

Innovative Methods for Impact and Engagement
Professor Stephen Curry (blogger, Imperial College London)
Martyn Lawrence (Senior Publisher, Emerald Insight)
Paul Manners (Director, National Coordinating Centre for Public Engagement, UWE)
Mike Peel (Jodrell Bank Centre for Astrophysics / Wikimedia UK)

BREAKOUT SESSIONS:
Academic impact on policy-making
Maria O’Beirne (Analysis and Innovation Directorate, Department for Communities and Local Government)
Jill Rutter (Better Policy Making Programme Director, Institute for Government)

Knowledge transfer and the role of research mediators
Nick Pearce (Director, IPPR)
Professor Judy Sebba (University of Sussex)

Academic impacts on industry and business
James John (Director of Strategy, director of strategy, civil government, HP)

A ‘how to’ guide to measuring your own academic impact
Jane Tinkler (Impact of Social Sciences project, London School of Economics)

Improving academic communication
Professor Patrick Dunleavy (Impact of Social Sciences project, London School of Economics)
Chris Gilson (Managing Editor, British Politics and Policy blog, London School of Economics)

This event is free and open to all but pre-registration is required. For more information phone and email the PPG team on 020 7955 6064 or 020 7955 6731 or by email on impactofsocialsciences@lse.ac.uk|. You can find more information on the Investigating Academic Impact website.

BU Research Impact event is a success!

Last Friday BU held an internal Research Impact event to share the success of the excellent research that has been undertaken by BU academics. The focus of the event was on how this research has had an impact outside of academia, for example an impact on society, the economy, quality of life, culture, policy, etc.

REF logoFor the forthcoming REF2014 BU will be required to include a number of research impact case studies as part of the submission. This is a new element to the REF (previously the RAE) and the HE sector has been grappling with the concept of impact for a number of years now.

The event, attended by over 75 BU staff, opened with a presentation from Prof Matthew Bennett (Pro Vice Chancellor – Research, Enterprise and Internationalisation) on BU’s future research strategy, planning for the REF, and how to develop and evidence research impact.

Part of the presentation focused on the BU Research Themes which are currently being identified and defined through academic consultation via the Research Blog. This is still in the early stages but Matthew presented the ten draft themes that are emerging. You can comment on the emerging themes here.

There were 35 impact case studies presented in total with most units of assessment (UOAs) presenting three case studies. At the end of each presentation members of the audience critiqued the case study and offered advice as to how the strengthen and maximise the impact claim.

Attendees were encouraged to go to impact case study presentations from different UOAs/Schools to find out about research that is undertaken in different areas of the University. Stronger impact case studies can also be developed with input from different disciplines.

The event was also attended by key staff from Marketing & Communications who will be working with UOA Leaders to develop and enhance impact case studies between now and the REF submission in autumn 2013.

There has been much positive feedback received from attendees and we are considering whether this should now be an annual event, celebrating the success of BU research and its benefit to society.

Many thanks to all the presenters and attendees, and everyone who supported the event and made it such a success! 😀

We are now seeking feedback on the impact case studies presented. These are all available on the I-drive (I:\CRKT\Public\RDU\REF\REF event May 2011\impact case study presentations). Please could you email your feedback to Anita Somner in the Research Development Unit by Friday 3 June. Anita will then anonymise and collate the feedback and share it with the UOA Leaders.

For further information on impact see the impact pages on the HEFCE website or our previous BU Research Blog posts on impact.

The excellent HEFCE REF event at BU!

Developing and Assessing Impact for the REF

Last week BU hosted a HEFCE-supported event for universities in the south of England outlining recent changes in how the quality of research in higher education is assessed.

The event, attended by over 150 delegates from 39 institutions, outlined the new Research Excellence Framework (REF) which includes a new assessment element focusing on research impact.

As Chris Taylor, Deputy REF Manager for HEFCE, explained: “REF will provide accountability for public investment in research and demonstrate its benefits.” He continued:

“Impact is defined as any contribution the research makes outside of academia. It is the higher education sector’s opportunity to shout about what it contributes to society.”

Professor Peter Taylor-Gooby (University of Kent), Professor Roy Harrison (University of Birmingham), Professor James Goodwin (Age UK), Dr Kathryn Monk (Environment Agency Wales) and Dr Mari Williams (RCUK) presented their experiences of assessing impact case studies in the REF pilot exercise. Professor Jim Griffiths (University of Plymouth) presented his experience of identifying and submitting impact case studies to the pilot exercise in the hope that others would learn from his experience.

Prevalent themes emerging from the pilot included the importance of a demonstrable chain of evidence from impact claim through to outcome, high quality research underpinning the impact claim and fostering the crucial relationship between academic and user.

Professor James Goodwin explained how research can change society for people’s benefit, stessing the importance of “converting research into a message that will influence people’s thinking”. He gave the recent removal of the default retirement age as an example of how this can influence policy.

The event closed with a Q&A session with all speakers, giving delegates the chance to obtain further clarity on the REF that will undoubtedly change the future of higher education research.

Matthew Bennett (BU’s PVC for Research, Enterprise and Internationalisation) said: “There has been sector-wide concern about how impact will be defined, collated and assessed in the REF, and this event provided excellent advice and guidance for academic staff likely to be submitting to the REF and those leading the submissions.”

The deadline for submitting submissions is November 2013 and the assesment will be made in 2014.

We will be adding further posts to the Research Blog focusing on the good practice shared at the event (such as defining impact, what makes a strong impact case study, etc) over the next few weeks.