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Assessing Excellence with Impact Ian Diamond ESRC.

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1 Assessing Excellence with Impact Ian Diamond ESRC

2 A Healthy & Vibrant Research Base An excellent research capability for the longer term Delivery of both academic and non- academic impact Underpinning the development of UK society, culture and economy (and beyond)

3 A Belief in Excellence Research methods: –rigorous and repeatable –conducted to highest methodological standards Intellectually and technically challenging Shapes the research work of others Changes our understanding of the world we live in Assessed by peer review

4 Great research Mixed Portfolio of Response and Managed Mode A firm commitment to blue sky curiosity driven research Scientific Excellence the sine qua non Encourage interdisciplinarity and innovation –Work to assure peer review –A partnership with the academic community Broad portfolio of opportunities to maximise impact with opportunities throughout the research lifecourse New application processes

5 Increased investment in research Increased expectations of further enhancing benefits from research Increased obligation to demonstrate a greater impact from research Public Expectations

6 Research Councils UK Impact To advance knowledge, understanding and technology, and provide trained researchers; To build partnerships that enhance take- up and impact, thereby contributing to the: –economic competitiveness of the United Kingdom, –effectiveness of public services and policy, and –enhancement of the quality of life and creative output of the nation. * derived from the Royal Charters of the Research Councils

7 What do we Know About Impact? UK research makes a huge contribution to society and the economy: both UK and global impacts For the Research Councils we find: –Diversity of impacts across portfolio –Multiplicity of processes to achieve impact –Both expected impacts and serendipity –Impacts manifest at many scales: project, person, organisation etc –Time lags and multiplier effects –Researchers and research are enriched by impact –However, scope to articulate both potential impact and achievement more strongly

8 Maximising Impact Factors (sometimes) influencing the likelihood and speed of impact (but sometimes it takes time): –Right project at right time –Entrepreneurial approach: within, beyond and after projects –Involvement of third parties, particularly as collaborating users

9 Impact Examples (from REF Consultation) Social Public Policy and Services Health Environmental Cultural QoL Economic

10 Peer Review Operational Changes Applicants to explain: Academic Summary: how will this research contribute to knowledge? Impact Summary: Who will benefit from this research? How? Impact Planning: What you will do to ensure benefit? Review and assessment Peer reviewers to consider potential impact (where appropriate) when prioritising excellent research Diversity of assessment criteria across portfolio: not one size for all We will continue to support excellent research without obvious and immediate impact, within a balanced portfolio No dramatic shift in the balance of y/our research portfolio Better application of research, not more applied research Impact will be part of the currency and language of research Greater visibility of impacts and greater pride in achievement Key purpose of impact plans is to help with peer review assessment but also offers opportunities to help us support and evaluate key investments.

11 Recent Developments RCUK Expectations for Societal and Economic Impact KT Portal – Impact summaries within peer review –Clarity about our expectations –Stronger obligation to consider beneficiaries - and how benefits could become manifest –No compromise on excellence –Accept need for diversity between Councils, disciplines, activities –Not economic valuation of potential impact

12 RCUK Statement of Expectations Research Councils give researchers considerable flexibility and autonomy, but in return expect: awareness of the environment and context in which their research takes place awareness of social/ethical implications and public attitudes engagement with the public about research and its broader implications identify potential benefits and beneficiaries through the full project life cycle maintain professional networks that extend beyond their own discipline publish results widely: both academic, user and public audiences exploit results to secure social and economic return to the UK manage collaboration professionally staff and students develop skills matched to the demands of their future career paths curation, management and exploitation of data for future use work in partnership with RCUK

13 Fundamental Messages No compromise on quality A partnership with researchers and HEIs Recognition of Non-academic Impact (including public engagement) in career structures Delivering the dual hurdle of excellence with impact

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