Tagged / research assessment

Overview of the REF draft panel criteria – what are the subtleties between panels?

At the end of July the REF team released the draft panel working methods and criteria documentation (see our previous blog post for access to the documents).

We’ve spent the week wading through the four main panel documents and have produced a very brief overview of the subtleties between the panels on key criteria (such as the use of citation data, co-authored outputs, additional environment data, etc) in a tabular format.

You can access the overview table here: REF – draft panel criteria comparison table

Unfortunately this is no substitute for reading the actual documentation (sorry!) but does highlight the key points and differences between panels.

These documents are currently open to sector-wide consultation until 5 October 2011. BU will be submitting a single institutional response coordinated by the Research Development Unit. BU staff are invited to submit feedback for consideration as part of this response. Please email all comments to Anita Somner by 20 September 2011.

REF draft panel criteria is now available

Two important REF documents are now available on the REF website:

1. The draft panel criteria and working methods for consultation. A summary of this will be added to the blog next week.

2. The analysis of panel membership is now available.

Panel criteria and working methods consultation – the consultation runs from now until 5 October. BU will be submitting a single institutional response coordinated by the Research Development Unit. BU staff are invited to submit feedback for consideration as part of this response. Please email all comments to Anita Somner by 20 September 2011.

The REF Guidance on Submissions document was released on 14 June, a summary of which can be accessed on the I-drive from: I:\CRKT\Public\RDU\REF.

REF Guidance on Submissions document released

The REF2014 Guidance on Submissions document was released on Thursday and can be accessed on the HEFCE website here: REF Guidance on Submissions

We have prepared a summary document of the key points that can be accessed on the I drive: I:\CRKT\Public\RDU\REF

At the end of July the REF team will publish the draft panel working methods and criteria documents which will be open to consultation until the autumn. The Research Development Unit will be coordinating the BU response to the consultation – further details will be available once the documentation is released.

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.

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.