Task force to investigate how to ensure research produces ‘maximum economic impact’

A task force charged with investigating how academic research can deliver “maximum economic impact for the UK” has been launched by policy organisations the Council for Industry and Higher Education and the UK-Innovation Research Centre. The task force will explore how universities and businesses can be encouraged to work together, how to better align public and industry-funded research, and how to maximise […]

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Peer review should not be such a dominant process in determining research funding allocation, RAND argues

Peer review is not always the best methodology for research funding processes, and diverse strategies should be used, according to a report by policy research organisation RAND Europe. ‘Alternatives to Peer Review in Research Project Funding’ evaluates nine alternatives systems that are used worldwide and concludes that a number of established approaches address the shortcomings of the peer review process […]

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Podcasts of over 1,000 LSE lectures available to download through iTunes U, including lectures from the LSE Impact Conference

Over 1,000 podcasts of the London School of Economics and Political Science’s public lecture programme are available to download from the iTunes online store, LSE on iTunes U, LSE announced this month. Almost 400 videos will complement the catalogue of audio podcasts which feature academics such as Professor Paul Krugman and Professor Amartya Sen alongside politicians including Prime Minister David […]

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Open evaluation of new Enterprise Zones stands to increase understanding of the impact of urban policy at little cost

The government’s competition to find 19 new Enterprise Zones represents a low cost opportunity to measure the impact of urban policy across the country, writes Professor Henry Overman of the LSE Spatial Economics Research Centre. The government has announced that 29 sites will compete to host the final 10 enterprise zones. For those of us that like to think about the […]

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US publisher moves to make catalogue of over 4,000 academic texts available free online

In a new move to make academic content more accessible to a wider audience across the globe, the National Academies Press announced this month that PDF versions of all its books will be available for download to anyone across the globe free of charge. The US-based NAP publishes work for the National Academy of Sciences, National Academy of Engineering, Institute of Medicine […]

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Taking a leaf out of Poliakoff’s book: embracing new online platforms is necessary for the positive survival of academic impact and debate

A new set of academics are embracing YouTube and blogging sites to share their passion with the public and make an impact with their research. Here Amy Mollett looks at two academics who have made the headlines recently: Professor Martyn Poliakoff and his success with science videos, and Professor Conor Gearty and his project on human rights debate. As Professor of Chemistry […]

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LSE Impact Blog gets a mention in Guardian HE

A big thank you to the Guardian Higher Education Network pages, who today mention the “excellent” Impact of Social Sciences Blog in a post by Chris O’Brien.

The post, why academics should learn how to influence government policy, discusses how if academics want to influence policy in their areas of expertise, then they must engage with policy makers and references […]

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Australian news site aims to bring academic expertise to breaking news, leading to an innovative increase in social impact and public engagement

Writing for the Nieman Journalism Lab, Nikki Usher uncovers an interesting new development in drawing academic research closer to news cycles, and the potential benefits this may have for impact profiles. What would happen if you had close to one thousand academics available to contribute to the breaking news cycle? Would it change the course, and the discourse, of news? […]

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LSE Impact Conference gets a mention in THE

A big thank you to THE for their cheeky mention of the Impact Conference on the Poppletonian page of the 19-25 May issue.

For anybody that missed it:

We’re on our way!

“We’re hoping to send at least a couple of coachloads.”

That was the enthusiastic response of Gerald Thudd, our Head of Research Impact, to the news that the London School of Economics […]

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May 24th, 2011|News|0 Comments|

‘Payback’ approach has scope to continue evolving, concludes research impact workshop

In March, Brunel University’s Health Economics Research Group (HERG) hosted an international two-day workshop on ‘State of the Art in Assessing Research Impact’. The workshop built on HERG’s leadership in assessing research impact, especially the ‘Payback’ Framework pioneered by Professor Martin Buxton and Professor Stephen Hanney in the 1990s to assess the outcomes of healthcare research. This approach gauges […]

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‘Maximizing The Impacts Of Your Research: A Handbook For Social Scientists’ now available to download as a PDF

For the past year a team of academics based at the London School of Economics, the University of Leeds and Imperial College have been working on a ‘Research Impacts’ project aimed at developing precise methods for measuring and evaluating the impact of research in the public sphere. We believe the our data will be of interest to all UK […]

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Government’s attitude to scientific advice is that it is something to reach for only after an emergency, finds Commons report

The Scientific Advice and Evidence in Emergencies report, published this month by the House of Commons Science and Technology Committee, has concluded that the government waits too long to ask for scientific advice in emergencies. The report examined how scientific advice and evidence is used in national emergencies, using four case studies to focus the inquiry: the 2009-10 H1N1 influenza (swine […]

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Brunel University appoints “entrepreneur in residence” to help academics further their impact

Brunel University has recently appointed David Riley as its voluntary “entrepreneur in residence” in an attempt to foster greater links with businesses and help academics to further the impact of their research, reports THE.

Mr Riley plans to work with academics and students across the whole university, covering science and humanities subjects as well as sports and other areas which have have […]

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Research and impact in the Middle East: strengths lay in science and technology

A report focusing on the developments in research produced across the Middle East has found that progress is being made especially within the fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics, reports the THE.

The Global Research Report Middle East, published by data provider Thomson Reuters, found that the region’s share of global research papers has doubled over the past ten […]

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March 22nd, 2011|News|0 Comments|

Mixed response following HEFCE announcement on reduction in REF impact weighting

Earlier this month, the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) announced that the measure of the impact of research on the wider world will now count for 20 per cent in the 2014 Research Excellence Framework (REF), as reported in THE.

As part of the new system for assessing the quality of research in UK higher education institutions, output […]

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Australia’s research strength lays in science, according to first national assesment

This week THE brings us the results of Australia’s first ever national research assessment, which found research in the sciences stronger than in the humanities and social sciences.

The Excellence in Research for Australia (ERA) ranked biotechnology, earth sciences, physical sciences, chemical sciences, and environmental sciences as the top 5 fields of disciplines; history was the only humanities or social […]

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February 15th, 2011|News, Rankings|1 Comment|

What are universities for?

In the comments to a THE article on the surprising results of the HEFCE impact pilot study, one reader highlighted as ‘essential reading’ for all academics’ the following piece by Professor Geoffrey Boulton FRS  and Colin Lucas (ex-Oxford Vice-Chancellor):

What are Universities For? published in 2008 by the League of European Researchers.

Extract:-

“In an age that reveres management, metrics […]

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January 20th, 2011|News|1 Comment|

UK Research Councils’ Funding Settlement

Just before Christmas the UK government announced the science and research budget for 2011/12 to 2014/15- which comes it at around £11.2billion. The ministerial statement available here breaks down the resource and capital allocation for capital by the various research councils, HEFCE, National Academies, and the UK space agendies. A more detailed report entitled ‘Investing in Science and Research’ […]

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January 17th, 2011|News|0 Comments|

Impact in the news

Times Higher Education’s first issue of the new year is chock-full of interesting news on research impact:

How the Browne review, which is likely to have a major impact on British higher education, spent only £68,000 on research, most of which was spent on opinion surveys of students and parents.
A visit to Warwick Manufacturing Group reveals how universities and industry […]

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January 11th, 2011|News|0 Comments|
This work by LSE Impact of Social Sciences blog is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported.