The REF team at HEFCE has produced a short summary of the REF and specifically of research impact, for research users outside academia. This document can be used to help explain the REF process to organisations you may need to call on to provide evidence to support impact case studies – it outlines the REF process and the timing of when researchers might be asking for supporting evidence. This document can be found at http://www.ref.ac.uk/users/
At the same time, HEFCE has issued an open call for nominations of research users to be assessors on the REF expert panels. Nominations can be made using an online form, which you can find here. The closing date for nominations is midday on Wednesday 5th December 2012.
In case there weren’t enough acronyms in the title for you, HEFCE (Higher Education Funding Council for England) have published answers to a new set of FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions) on the REF (Research Excellence Framework. They’re available here:
HEFCE REF FAQs
The updates include information on the definition of “independent research” for early career researchers; how to determine whether maternity and paternity leave falls substantially within the REF period; and information required for patents and patent applications, among other topics.
The report of the Working Group on Expanding Access to Published Research Findings chaired by Dame Janet Finch has been published. This recommends a programme of action to enable more people to read and use the publications arising from research.
Better, faster communication of research results will bring benefits for public services and for economic growth. It will also bring improved efficiency for researchers, and opportunities for more public engagement with research. Further details can be found here.
In a press release on 19 June, Research Councils UK (RCUK) say that they welcome the report and that they are strongly committed to improving the access to the outputs of its research, for the benefit of researchers, as well as UK economy and society. RCUK will carefully consider the recommendations from the report, with HEFCE and other stakeholders and, in addition, will use it to inform the new RCUK Open Access policy, expected to be launched later this summer.
Research and Business Services have a dedicated funding stream to support public engagement and impact from your research
Funding of up to £3,000 per proposal is available for activities which allow you to engage the public in your research. The funding is specifically for the delivery of public engagement activities, which could include, engaging users in research development, developing communities of practice (e.g. communities, third sector organisations, policy makers, industry, etc.), events, and public engagement activities which deliver research impact.
The current allocation must be spent by the end of July 2012 and decisions are made within 10 working days.
To get a copy of the application form, discuss this funding or potential ideas, please contact Alex Robson, Public Engagement and Impact Manager by email – firstname.lastname@example.org or call 0191 243 7421
“It’s understandable that academics whose research area does not lend itself to impact and those whose roles are mainly teaching will feel alienated by the impact agenda. Adam Golberg writes that increased recognition for one type of academic activity need not be interpreted as an attack on the status and importance of others.”
I came across this thought provoking post on the LSE Impact of the Social Sciences blog which presents an interesting take on the reaction to the impact agenda…
See the full article here
The PVC for Research, Professor Peter Golding, together with key staff from Research and Business Services, is delivering a series of Roadshows about Northumbria’s involvement in the REF.
Each School will have its own specific Roadshow. The session will incorporate a presentation from the School’s AD for Research, giving specific information on what is expected at both School and University level during the course of the REF submission period, and also discuss the current REF Dry Run which is taking place in preparation for 2014.
Dates, times and locations of the Roadshows can be found below. For further information please email email@example.com
||14.00 – 15.30
||Hall A, Coach Lane Campus
|Natural and Built Environment
||14.00 – 15.30
||15.00 – 16.30
||Design School Presentation Hall
||10.00 – 11.30
||10.00 – 11.30
Northumbria University is required to submit to HEFCE for approval a Code of Practice on the selection of staff for the Research Excellence Framework. The format and content of the Code are fairly rigorously prescribed by the Funding Council. It must be submitted by July 31st 2012 and must be approved for us to be eligible to submit to the REF.
The purpose of the Code is to ensure that decisions about who is submitted to the REF are made in a way that is transparent and objective, and complies with equalities legislation. This entails both legal and moral obligations, which all must be meshed with decisions that enable the University to present its research in the best possible way for REF purposes.
In order to develop its REF procedures, and to assist in making judgements about the quality of our research, the University is currently undertaking a ‘dry run’ by inviting external assessors to review ‘dummy’ submissions. The results of this dry run, and the draft Code of Practice, will inform the final decisions about the content and form of the University’s submission to the REF. The comments of Northumbria’s academic staff have been sought and are greatly valued as input into the final version of the University’s Code of Practice. The consultation process will end on Monday, 2nd April, so please take the time to read the draft (see link below) and comment as you think fit.
The draft Code of Practice can be found here. Your comments should be submitted by Monday, 2 April 2012, to firstname.lastname@example.org
(Details of HEFCE’s requirements of the Code can be found in Part 4 of the document here )