While it is no longer uncommon for social scientists to be included in research groups tackling complex problems in the natural sciences, limited understanding of the different disciplinary areas within the social sciences remains a challenge. Eric Toman describes the approach social science faculties at his university have taken to address this and also outlines how graduate training programmes […]
“A soup of different inspirations”: Co-produced research and recognising impact as a process, not an outcome
Co-produced research involves external partners from start to finish, builds lasting relationships and is actively involved in generating impact. Yet co-production sits uncomfortably with how impact is currently understood. Rachel Pain and Ruth Raynor explore how the process of co-production has the potential to […]
Last week, Julie Bayley spoke at the 2016 Research Impact Summit, hosted by Knowledge Translation Australia. During her presentation she discussed many of the challenges faced when introducing an impact agenda to the academic community, and how the concept of impact literacy can help. An extended version of the presentation has been made available online, but Julie outlines the key points below.
Consider impact. A […]
In the late 1960s, many elite universities suddenly welcomed women to their undergraduate student bodies. However, as Nancy Weiss Malkiel explains, this was not the consequence of a high-minded commitment to opening opportunities to women but rather one of institutional self-interest. Little wonder, then, that coeducation has failed to lead to a levelling of the playing field for men […]
Having examined the organisation of Europe’s academic labour markets, Alexandre Afonso outlines the main differences between countries across the continent. There is greatest variance in two particular areas: the extent to which they are open to outsiders, and the job security they provide for recent PhD graduates. This has obvious consequences for the mobility of academics across Europe and […]
Improved integration of communications and scholarly roles can help academics become successful digital influencers
It has become increasingly incumbent upon higher education institutions to improve the visibility of their academic research. Heather Crookes has examined the role of university departments in transitioning academic researchers into digital influencers able to engage with non-academic publics. Although the value and opportunities presented by this are clear, some obstacles remain. It is improved integration of communications and […]
Crowdsourcing for social sciences researchers: data gathering, teaching, learning and research dissemination from a single project
What if your next research dissemination exercise could also help you gather unique data for your next research project, while at the same time providing your students with unique learning opportunities? Darren Moon reflects on the success of the award-winning ConstitutionUK project and suggests how its crowdsourcing techniques might represent a unique opportunity and alternative to both traditional research dissemination methods […]
Providing evidence to policymakers through select committees is a great way for researchers to influence current policy debates. But if you haven’t done it before, the formality of the task may appear daunting. Patrick Hanley has compiled thoughts and experiences from several LSE academics with their tips on preparing and giving evidence to policymakers. This is part one of a series on giving […]
Why are interdisciplinary research proposals less likely to be funded? Lack of adequate peer review may be a factor.
Recent findings suggest interdisciplinary research is less likely to be funded than discipline-based research proposals. Gabriele Bammer looks at how interdisciplinary research is currently peer reviewed and argues different review processes may well be required to do justice to these different kinds of interdisciplinarity. Discipline-based researchers may be ill-equipped to evaluate the integrative processes that an interdisciplinary proposal plans to […]
Social science at the crossroads: the history of political science in the USA and the evolution of social impact.
What role should social scientists play in society? Louisa Hotson explores the evolution of the social sciences through four periods in the history of political science, each with different implications for how social science makes a difference. These lessons from history encourage us to think more broadly than we have in recent decades about how we define the ‘impact’ of the social […]
As the Higher Education and Research Bill gets its second reading in the House of Commons, Dorothy Bishop revisits the costs and benefits of one of its primary components, the Teaching Excellence Framework. Based on the government’s own analysis, the system is designed to separate winners and losers with potentially devastating effects for the losers. The outcome will depend crucially […]
Universities were shocked and profoundly concerned by the Leave vote. So much collaboration between European universities has arisen from membership of the EU. But, writes Anne Corbett, now is the time to forge and deepen our European links thorough associations like Coimbra and the European University Association.
Shock and alarm
Few policy sectors are more shocked than higher education at the referendum […]
Managing Editor of the LSE Impact Blog Sierra Williams provides a brief round-up of qualitative and quantitative insights gleaned about the blog from a few different sources. From what content readers want more of to how people are accessing and using online information, this feedback provides some exciting directions for the blog to explore and focus on in the next year.
Clare Wilkinson and Emma Weitkamp from the University of the West of England, Bristol offer support for researchers looking to track and evidence the unique, creative and often qualitative outcomes of public engagement and communication activities. Rather than an add-on to the research, it may be possible to embed evaluation within the research project itself.
As science communication researchers and practitioners, we’ve been […]
Dialogue over dissemination: Unlocking the potential of knowledge exchange through creative collaboration.
Knowledge exchange and impact activities often have to negotiate, incorporate and synthesise different kinds of expertise. Mona Sloane looks at how the Configuring Light Roundtables have sought to bring together perspectives on inequalities in social housing lighting by encouraging productive dialogue between those with abstract and practical expertise. This kind of collaboration offers real potential for re-defining universities as […]
The relatively low impact of many academic conferences suggests it may be time for a rethink, argues Duncan Green. ‘Manels’ (male only panels) are an outrage, but why not go for complete abolition, rather than mere gender balance? With people reading out papers, terrible powerpoints crammed with too many words, or illegible graphics, it is time for innovation in format. We […]
Mining the REF impact case studies for lessons on leadership, governance and management in Higher Education.
The Leadership Foundation for Higher Education’s Director of Research, Professor Fiona Ross CBE commissioned Dr Elizabeth Morrow to mine the 2014 REF impact case studies to learn more about leadership, governance and management (LGM) research. The case study data suggests new possibilities for inter-professional collaboration, and also elucidates different types of impact, which may not necessarily be sequential. Furthermore, given the […]
Social scientists have long been concerned with inequality, yet the focus has often been on its theoretical and political aspects. This is now starting to change, writes Mike Savage. Thanks to research interventions by scholars, together with attempts to institutionalise cross-disciplinary work, the focus is shifting from normative debates and towards the more technical, empirical and historical problems of inequality.
It’s time to teach — but which time is it? Tracing academic practices through more appropriate time metrics.
Academics may be well aware of mounting time pressures but is standard clock-time useful for understanding academic work? Alexander Mitterle, Carsten Würmann, and Roland Bloch look at how teaching is understood in relation to time in German universities. They report how the SWS, a figure related to an individual course frame, can be understood as a quantifiable time classification, but one […]