Research Impact: Delivering Excellence will explore REF case studies and testimonials to help universities effectively measure and evidence impact, offering practical guidance on delivering high quality submissions across disciplines, institutions and projects.
As announced in the current Spending Review, the UK government is taking forward a review of the Research Excellence Framework (REF) that is being led by Lord Stern. The review will draw on evaluation from the previous REF exercise to ensure future university research funding is allocated more efficiently, offers greater rewards for excellence and reduces the administrative burden on institutions. This will follow Sir Paul Nurse’s late 2015 review that recommended better management of cross-cutting funding for interdisciplinary research and formation of overall research strategies and priorities for the UK. So what will the future of research funding and evaluation look like and how can institutions continue to deliver excellence? Are other models of research evaluation likely to emerge?
Over 290 delegates attended Research Impact in 2015 with 75% of Russell Group Universities represented and 85% of all attendees representing the top 50 Universities in UK. This year’s event promises to be even bigger and better with interactive breakout sessions, practical working groups and leading stakeholder presentations designed to help higher education institutions improve REF implications, processes and interdisciplinary research.
The government have launched a UK-wide review of university research funding to cut red tape so that universities can focus more on delivering the world-leading research and developing a simpler, lighter-touch, system for the REF. Lord Stern is leading the review drawing on evidence from the evaluation of the last REF in 2014 and considering other models and future iterations of research performance and evaluation.
The 2015 Metric Tide report identified 20 recommendations for further work and action by stakeholders across the UK research system including effective leadership; governance and management of research cultures; and coordinating activity and building evidence. In conjunction with the report, what else did we learn about the assessment of impact in REF2014 and what are the considerations for a future exercise.
Citations in scholarly statement are increasingly to what is born digital and online. But much of what is on the Web today is gone tomorrow. The Keepers Registry can give some assurance of the archival status of referenced content back into other parts of the scholarly record. However, increasingly what is cited is to content on the world wild web-at-large. That means that referenced evidence to online government publication, newsmedia and other websites is subject to ‘reference rot’, the combined effect of link rot (those 404s) and content drift (where what is available is not what the author viewed and referenced). Results from the Mellonfunded Hiberlink project will be used to throw light, and some shadow, on what was submitted to the REF, with focus on both threat and future remedy.
The HEFCE REF Equality and Diversity Advisory Panel (EDAP) reviewed institutions’ codes of practice on the selection of staff and produced a report of good practice found in the codes. How might this inform future REF preparation, submissions and the research process?
Panel members will facilitate an interactive break-out session offering practical guidance to help you improve your research excellence and to demonstrate excellence in submissions.
Good quality research information is essential for meeting the objectives of the REF – accountability, resource allocation, benchmarking and development of national priorities – and is much needed by all the key stakeholders. The REF is, by its very nature, informationintensive, and collecting, managing and analysing that information is time-consuming and expensive. Could a national research information infrastructure both address these issues, and remove some of the barriers to more open science?
Increasingly research funding streams have a strong focus on multi and interdisciplinary streams, ensuring resources and knowledge is pooled and research outcomes are improved. What are the challenges with cross-funding and cross-working and how can research institutions navigate the complexities to deliver excellence?
Groups will be set problems and based on their own universities explore what are the limitations, barriers and incentives that would need to be in place to make teams work well?
Find out how all of the groups did in the breakout session and the ideas that can help you improve interdisciplinary research in your own workplace
Sir Paul Nurse’s independent report of the UK Research Councils, Ensuring a successful UK research endeavour, recommended a number of changes to research governance and structure to simplify transactional operations, better manage cross-cutting funding for interdisciplinary research and formation of overall research strategies and priorities for the UK. Exploring progress so far on the recommendations and future developments that the UK research base can start to prepare for.
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