RCUK have made an announcement on pathways to impact: http://www.rcuk.ac.uk/media/announcements/150115/ and here http://www.rcuk.ac.uk/RCUK-prod/assets/documents/documents/PtoIExecSummary.pdf
The key point is that RCUK has reaffirmed its commitment to Pathways to Impact and will require a clearly thought through and acceptable Pathways to Impact statement as a condition of funding in the future. This change will take effect for peer review panels which take place after 1st April 2015 – please see the appropriate Research Council website for details.
On Monday, a number of councils also published their 2013-14 impact reports, which are linked below.
EPSRC have updated their guidance on pathways to impact: http://www.epsrc.ac.uk/funding/howtoapply/preparing/impactguidance/ and have published an Impact report: http://www.epsrc.ac.uk/newsevents/pubs/economicimpactreport1314/ and a note about the next round of Impact Acceleration Accounts:
AHRC impact report: http://www.ahrc.ac.uk/News-and-Events/News/Pages/AHRC-publishes-report-on-the-impact-of-research.aspx
ESRC impact report: http://www.esrc.ac.uk/news-and-events/announcements/33431/new-report-highlights-our-impact-in-2014.aspx and promoting REF impact case studies from ESRC funded research: http://www.esrc.ac.uk/news-and-events/features-casestudies/case-studies/
BBSRC has published its impact report: http://bbsrc.ac.uk/news/policy/2015/150119-n-bbsrc-publishes-latest-impact-report.aspx
MRC Impact report (published last year): http://www.mrc.ac.uk/news-events/publications/outputs-outcomes-and-impact-of-mrc-research-2013-14/
NERC Impact report: http://www.nerc.ac.uk/latest/news/nerc/impact-report/
STFC impact report: http://www.stfc.ac.uk/files/3269/3269_res_5.pdf
Finally, the overall RCUK impact report: http://www.rcuk.ac.uk/media/news/150119/
You can also view RKEO advice on producing a pathways to impact document on our blogs ‘research toolkit’: http://blogs.bournemouth.ac.uk/research/researcher-toolbox/je-s-guidance/impact-sections/
The RCUK Digital Economy Theme ‘Telling Tales of Engagement’ Competition 2014
The RCUK Digital Economy Theme is running a competition designed to help capture and promote the impact that your digital economy research is having. Three prizes of £10,000 are available to support researchers to further tell the story of your research impact in an interesting and engaging way to a wider audience.
|Call for EoIs launched
||05 September 2014
|Deadline for EoIs
||19 November 2014
|Panel and Funding decision
||06 December 2014
||From January 2015
The RCUK Digital Economy Theme (DET) is running a competition designed to help capture and promote the impact that your digital economy research is having. Three prizes of £10,000 are available to support researchers to further tell the story of research impact in an interesting and engaging way to a wider audience. The competition, which has been co-developed with the National Centre for Universities and Business (NCUB), is designed to produce very informative case study exemplars which can be used to help the wider research community develop understanding of the nature of a pathway to impact. It aims to encourage applicants to tell a story to describe the pathway to impact which actually occurred. This should be even more informative because understanding how impact arises is key to planning for future impact pathways. They want the stories to portray impact as including what capability has changed outside the institutions, and what benefits that exercising this capability change has then delivered. Each “Tale of Engagement” should show how the actual impact arises and the evidence of the impact itself and will thereby show clearly the link between the impact and the research. Choosing how to tell the story should reflect the nature of the story itself. The story should stimulate thinking on a more imaginative and illustrative ways to tell the tale of engagement and the resulting impact.
How to Apply
Please complete the form at the main call page (http://www.epsrc.ac.uk/funding/calls/tellingtales2014), addressing the questions raised in “Scope of Competition” section and taking into account the “Guidance on completing proforma” notes below. Please ensure you include a single PowerPoint slide which summarises your entry in an interesting and engaging way.
DEADLINE: 12:00 (noon) on Wednesday 19 November 2014.
You can find further information here: TellingTalesOfEngagementCall
If you have any questions, then please do contact:
Dr John Baird 01793 444 047
Mrs Ruth Slade 01793 444 261
I took the day off on Wednesday last week and did some really cool stuff in London, including watching Oscar Pistorius in the 100m semi-finals at the Olympic Stadium, having a lovely veggie lunch in Neal’s Yard, learning about Londinium at the Museum of London, and visiting a street art exhibition by Mr Brainwash. A fabulous, if not quite bizarre, day!
We also visited the Grant Museum of Zoology at the UCL campus at Euston which was amazing. This is a tiny museum, only one room, but it is jam packed with skeletons, pickled things in specimen jars and taxidermied animals, all housed within a Victorian-era style room. You almost have to blow the dust from the exhibits! Particular highlights were a jar stuffed full of moles (both repulsive and fascinating), a domestic cat with half its skin peeled back, a selection of elephant skulls, a display of pickled animal brains, and a badly taxidermied owl (why can they never get the eyes right?!). I also noticed a number of iPads set up around the museum for visitors to engage in dialogue about the exhibits either by adding comments or by answering questions about the museum, conservation policy, the role of science in society, etc. Apparently the responses are used to help the museum to make decisions about how it should be run and the information gathered is routinely shared with other museums. The museum was free to get in and I thoroughly recommend it as an excellent way to spend an hour in London.
So you may be wondering why I am writing about this on the BU Research Blog. Those of you who are regular readers of the blog may remember a post I added last summer about the amazing La Brea Tar Pits in Los Angeles (Excellent example of public engagement in research, resulting in societal impact) in which I discussed how the museum has made research part of the exhibition and visitors can see researchers at work and discuss the excavation with them. Well the Grant Museum of Zoology was similar and is no doubt doing wonders for UCL’s public engagement and research impact work. Not only does visiting the museum give members of the public the opportunity to venture onto UCL’s campus, the researchers work on-site and visitors can engage in dialogue with researchers at work. Each week a team of PhD students from disciplines across UCL spend time in the museum to engage with visitors – discussing their research as well as student life. The museum also features work from UCL researchers who are invited to co-curate exhibitions and installations about their current research with the aim of giving visitors a glimpse of what happens inside the University’s labs and workshops. The museum also regularly hosts activity sessions for school children from across London giving them the opportunity to learn from the collection.
This struck me as an excellent example of public engagement and research impact on many different levels and theimportance of generating a two-way dialogue with public audiences around research. I wondered how we could replicate this at BU and my immediate thoughts were that we can’t – we don’t own any prime real estate in London that we could convert into a museum for starters! However there are a number of key features that make this museum a success in terms of public engagement and research impact – including the crucial role of PhD students in public engagement activities, the benefits of presenting research findings in non-traditional academic outlets, inviting members of the public onto campus, encouraging feedback and discussion, and working with schools to engage school children with research and life at a university.
We already do some of this at BU and have significantly invested recently in support for public engagement, which is one of the enablers underpinning the BU2018 strategy. The BU Festival of Learning scheduled for June 2013 provides a fabulous opportunity to showcase the breadth of activity from across the University, and RKE Development and Operations are always happy to work with colleagues on developing ideas for public engagement / impact activities. If you have any ideas for public engagement activities or would like support from us in developing ideas, then contact my colleague Rebecca Edwards who will be be happy to talk your ideas through with you.
Research Councils UK (RCUK) have recently launched a number of best practice case studies online to help inspire you when filling out the Pathways to Impact section of your funding applications.
The Pathways to Impact are designed to encourage you to consider the sorts of activities that may help your research to have an impact. A wide variety of activities have been funded from the Pathways to Impact section, including public engagement, direct collaborations with beneficiaries, events and policy briefings.
The case studies provide personal accounts from RCUK-funded researchers about their approaches and experiences of Pathways to Impact. The case studies also provide guidance and top tips on how you can maximise impact from your research. Tips include avoiding potential pitfalls, such as focusing only on past activities rather than looking ahead to explore the potential impact of the project, and ensuring milestones are included where appropriate along with an explanation of the rationale behind activities.
Further case studies will be added over the coming weeks to build a knowledge bank of experience and best practice that you can draw on.