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    The Global Challenges Research Fund: £1.5bn commitment is impressive in its ambition but would benefit from a tighter strategic focus

The Global Challenges Research Fund: £1.5bn commitment is impressive in its ambition but would benefit from a tighter strategic focus

The Global Challenges Research Fund aims to ensure UK research plays a leading role in addressing problems faced by developing countries. To Tina Fahm of the Independent Commission for Aid Impact, the fund represents a welcome increase in the UK’s ambition in development research, drawing on well-established mechanisms for identifying research excellence and promoting interdisciplinary work on complex development […]

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    Bridging the gap between research and policy: recommendations for social science research in low/middle-income countries

Bridging the gap between research and policy: recommendations for social science research in low/middle-income countries

Connecting research with policy is never easy, particularly in low- and middle-income countries (LMIC) where resources are often limited. Sarah Morton conducted an impact assessment of a research programme in Peru to examine how research uptake and use contributed to policy and practice change. A number of recommendations arising from this case study can be applied to future research […]

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The Publishing Trap! A game of scholarly communication

In a complex, evolving scholarly communications environment, it is more important than ever for researchers to have access to information and support resources relating to copyright and intellectual property rights. However, many among the academic community continue to view copyright as something of a problem and difficult to engage with. Experimenting with new ways to communicate and critically examine […]

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    Barriers to research collaboration: are social scientists constrained by their desire for autonomy?

Barriers to research collaboration: are social scientists constrained by their desire for autonomy?

Researchers everywhere are being pushed to collaborate. Individual academics are being urged to join teams, small teams are encouraged to merge with others to become bigger teams, and institution-wide and inter-institutional collaborations are spreading. With potential benefits including increased chances of funding, visibility, and impact, why, asks Jenny M. Lewis, are social scientists not embracing collaboration more? Might it […]

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    Want to ensure your research influences policy? Advice from a government insider

Want to ensure your research influences policy? Advice from a government insider

Among the ways social sciences research can have impact is by influencing public policy. Duncan Green recently attended an event at which this subject was much discussed, with a leading government research analyst offering clear advice on what officials are looking for. Comparative work highlighting a range of possible solutions is valued, as are multidisciplinary approaches. Most useful is […]

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    To wear many different hats: how do scholar-practitioners span boundaries between academia and practice?

To wear many different hats: how do scholar-practitioners span boundaries between academia and practice?

Scholar-practitioners are those individuals who succeed in spanning the boundaries between academia and practice. Guillaume Carton and Paula Ungureanu’s research sought to better understand scholar-practitioners; the multiple roles they perform across each world, the perceived synergies and tensions, and the strategies employed to manage them. A key tension exists between institutional pressures for hyper-specialisation and scholar-practitioners’ personal aspirations that […]

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    How can blogging help research make an impact beyond academia? Illustrative examples from the LSE blogs

How can blogging help research make an impact beyond academia? Illustrative examples from the LSE blogs

Previous posts in our series on the Impact of LSE Blogs project examined the effects of blogging on the academic sphere, looking more closely at citations to the original research outputs and also to the blog posts themselves. But what about the effects of blogging beyond academia, on the public sphere? In the final post of the series, Kieran […]

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    How to plan, create and launch a successful multi-author academic blog

How to plan, create and launch a successful multi-author academic blog

A multi-author blog collective is an effective way for a university or other knowledge-based institution to host discussion and debate. As part of a series previewing their book Communicating Your Research with Social Media, Amy Mollett, Cheryl Brumley, Chris Gilson and Sierra Williams look at how to set up an institution-based multi-author blog platform; from planning all the way to launch.

Planning and launching a social […]

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    If academics are serious about research impact they need to learn from monitoring, evaluation and learning teams

If academics are serious about research impact they need to learn from monitoring, evaluation and learning teams

The impact of academic research, particularly on policy and the private sector, is an increasingly important component of research assessment exercises and funding distribution. However, Duncan Green argues that the way many researchers think about their impact continues to be pretty rudimentary. A lack of understanding of who key decision-makers are, a less-than-agile response to real-world events, and difficulties […]

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    A more interdisciplinary approach can help us understand why research evidence does or doesn’t make it into policy

A more interdisciplinary approach can help us understand why research evidence does or doesn’t make it into policy

Effective communication of research is often cited as being most important to gaining the attention of policymakers. This arguably underestimates the sheer complexity of the policymaking process, assuming a linear route from evidence to policy and practice. Fiona Blyth and Carmen Huckel Schneider explain why breaking down walls between different academic disciplines could enhance our understanding of why research […]

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    Leading research institutions should not be allowed to get away with bad writing

Leading research institutions should not be allowed to get away with bad writing

Paul Romer, chief economist at the World Bank, was recently sidelined after encouraging his researchers to communicate more clearly, even going as far as imposing a limit on their use of the word “and”. Caroline Cassidy defends Romer’s intentions and argues that strong communication is of critical importance to using research to find solutions to the world’s problems, even […]

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    OpenAIRE can form the basis for a truly public European Open Access Platform

OpenAIRE can form the basis for a truly public European Open Access Platform

In a previous Impact Blog post, Benedikt Fecher and colleagues envisioned a European Open Access Platform, an innovative public information infrastructure that would integrate publishing and dissemination into the research lifecycle, rather than having it outsourced. Tony Ross-Hellauer describes how OpenAIRE is working to make this vision a reality, and how it can contribute further to create a participatory, […]

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    MSF Scientific Days 2017: improving the effectiveness of humanitarian programmes through scientific research and innovation

MSF Scientific Days 2017: improving the effectiveness of humanitarian programmes through scientific research and innovation

MSF Scientific Days is a global network of events focused on how scientific research and innovation can improve the effectiveness of humanitarian medical programmes. Sarah Venis presents some of the highlights of this year’s programme, including discussion of how to best gather evidence from emergency settings, and the challenges of community engagement; as well as an examination of different […]

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    The NGO-Academia interface: obstacles to collaboration, lessons from systems thinking and suggested ways forward

The NGO-Academia interface: obstacles to collaboration, lessons from systems thinking and suggested ways forward

Collaboration between non-governmental organisations and academia ought to be easy, yet remains difficult in practice. Duncan Green outlines the present obstacles to collaboration, from competing incentives to differing degrees of urgency, explains what might be learnt from less linear, systems thinking approaches, before setting out a series of recommendations for academics, NGOs and funders.

The case for partnership between international […]

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    Eight lessons on fostering learning in large research and development programmes

Eight lessons on fostering learning in large research and development programmes

Learning-driven, adaptive approaches to designing research and implementing programmes are increasingly popular in fields such as international development. Among funding agencies there is also a growing trend towards “multi-project programmes”, the grouping together of many projects under a single umbrella programme, the aim being to enhance how projects, organisations and individuals exchange knowledge and learn from one another. Tiina […]

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This work by LSE Impact of Social Sciences blog is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported.