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    Lessons from the past – Why our current understanding of UK research policy is wrong

Lessons from the past – Why our current understanding of UK research policy is wrong

As a result of Brexit, research policy in the UK is being asked to perform an increasingly large array of functions and will likely undergo significant changes. In this post David Edgerton draws on the findings of a recent British Academy report on the history of UK research policy to highlight how research policy in the UK is frequently […]

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    Giving Credit: Gender and the hidden labour behind academic prestige

Giving Credit: Gender and the hidden labour behind academic prestige

In recent months, a number of high profile cases have focused attention on how credit is attributed to the creation of academic research and in particular the way in which the role of women is often diminished or effaced as part of this process. In this post Donica Belisle and Kiera Mitchell highlight the historical precedent of Mary […]

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    Book Review: The Good University: What Universities Actually Do and Why It’s Time for Radical Change by Raewyn Connell

Book Review: The Good University: What Universities Actually Do and Why It’s Time for Radical Change by Raewyn Connell

In The Good University: What Universities Actually Do and Why It’s Time for Radical Change, Raewyn Connell provides a powerful and expansive critique of the current state of higher education at a variety of different geographical scales. While this lucid and important book makes clear that the global state of higher education is at a crossroads, its optimism should make it a […]

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    Reflections on academic fundraising: the art of getting there

Reflections on academic fundraising: the art of getting there

Fundraising, or grant capture, has become an increasingly established part of a career in the social sciences. Whereas, in the UK this process has become institutionalized, in other research systems grant capture remains less central. In this post Abel Polese reflects on his own experiences of academic fundraising and argues that for researchers seeking research funding, failure is relative […]

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    Book Review: Getting the Most out of Your Doctorate: The Importance of Supervision, Networking and Becoming a Global Academic edited by Mollie Dollinger

Book Review: Getting the Most out of Your Doctorate: The Importance of Supervision, Networking and Becoming a Global Academic edited by Mollie Dollinger

In Getting the Most out of Your Doctorate: The Importance of Supervision, Networking and Becoming a Global Academic, editor Mollie Dollinger brings together commentary and analysis from an international group of students and scholars to offer reflections on the doctoral researcher’s journey through a PhD programme. This is a smart, handy and pragmatic contribution to any doctoral student’s bookshelf, writes Sabrina Wilkinson, and […]

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    To achieve a truly ‘Global Britain’ we need to take international research policy partnerships seriously

To achieve a truly ‘Global Britain’ we need to take international research policy partnerships seriously

The relationship between the UK’s research endeavour and its international partners is likely to change in coming years as a result of changes in domestic funding streams and a potentially sharp exit from EU funded research projects. In this post James Georgalakis argues that if the UK is seeking to be truly ‘Global’ in terms of research, there is […]

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    India’s retrospective review of PhD research quality is set to significantly change research practices

India’s retrospective review of PhD research quality is set to significantly change research practices

India’s University Grants Commission recently invited proposals to retrospectively assess the quality of PhD theses awarded by the country’s universities over the past 10 years. In this post Santosh C. Hulagabali, outlines the potential impacts of this review on Indian universities and scholars and highlights the role of this review in signaling the quality of Indian research.   

In the […]

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    A call for funders to ban institutions that use grant capture targets

A call for funders to ban institutions that use grant capture targets

Grant capture, or the ability of researchers to secure funding for their projects, is often used as a formal metric for academic evaluation. In this repost, Dorothy Bishop argues that this practice has led to peverse incentives for researchers and institutions and that research funders have both a responsibility and a significant interest in using their influence to halt […]

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Visa applications: emotional tax and privileged passports

Researcher-artist Bathsheba Okwenje contrasts the visa requirements for a Ugandan national visiting the UK with a UK national visiting Uganda. While highlighting how some passports carry certain privileges, more hidden is the emotional tax non-privileged passport-holders pay by wanting to explore the world, by needing to prove they are worthy of travel in a country that is not their […]

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    Do no harm? – What development practice can teach us about negative impact

Do no harm? – What development practice can teach us about negative impact

As previous posts on the Impact Blog have highlighted, one aspect of the impact agenda that has until recently been relatively neglected has been that of negative impact, or ‘grimpact’. In this post Valeria Izzi and Becky Murray draw on examples from development practice and research to advance a more complex understanding of grimpact and argue that as development […]

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    Evidence matters, but ideas shape policy in more fundamental ways than we might realise

Evidence matters, but ideas shape policy in more fundamental ways than we might realise

Evidence-based policy-making can be problematic in practice, especially if the evidence is uncertain. Based on a case study concerning the formation of a national-level policy position in Ireland in response to an EU initiative, Niamh Hardiman and Saliha Metinsoy suggest that policy makers’ decisions may well be guided by beliefs that go beyond the direct evidence available. Ideas can be so deep-rooted that […]

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    Book Review: Refugees in Higher Education: Debate, Discourse and Practice by Jacqueline Stevenson and Sally Baker

Book Review: Refugees in Higher Education: Debate, Discourse and Practice by Jacqueline Stevenson and Sally Baker

20 June is World Refugee Day. In their new book Refugees in Higher Education: Debate, Discourse and Practice, Jacqueline Stevenson and Sally Baker offer a comprehensive discussion of the policies and practices that seek to ensure refugee students access to higher education, focusing on the UK and Australia. This book challenges the context of global efforts to widen participation in higher education systems for […]

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    The changing imperative to demonstrate social science impact

The changing imperative to demonstrate social science impact

In less than a decade the impact agenda has evolved from being a controversial idea to an established part of most national research systems. Over the same period the conceptualisation of research impact in the social sciences and the ability to create and measure research impact through digital communication media has also developed significantly. In this post, Ziyad Marar […]

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    Grimpact – Time to acknowledge the dark side of the impact agenda

Grimpact – Time to acknowledge the dark side of the impact agenda

A critical blind spot in the impact agenda has been that impact is understood and defined solely in positive terms. In this post Gemma Derrick and Paul Benneworth introduce the concept of ‘Grimpact’, to describe instances where research negatively impacts society, and argue that the implicit optimism of research assessment has rendered researchers and science systems poorly equipped to […]

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    Book Review: The Privileged Poor: How Elite Colleges Are Failing Disadvantaged Students by Anthony Abraham Jack

Book Review: The Privileged Poor: How Elite Colleges Are Failing Disadvantaged Students by Anthony Abraham Jack

In The Privileged Poor: How Elite Colleges Are Failing Disadvantaged Students, Anthony Abraham Jack seeks to better comprehend the unnoticed heterogeneous experiences of first-generation, low-income students navigating campus life at elite universities in the United States. This is a significant contribution to debates on class and mobility, writes Malik Fercovic, that compels us to think carefully about the responsibilities of […]

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    Charting the rise and fall of North American leadership in global science: Insights from the population of Nobel Laureates.

Charting the rise and fall of North American leadership in global science: Insights from the population of Nobel Laureates.

For the majority of the last century North America has been at the epicentre of global scientific research. However, through the course of the 21st century other countries have begun to close this gap in a number of ways, notably China is now the global leader in published research and is on course to overtake the US in […]

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    Knowledge exchange or research impact – what is the difference between REF and KEF?

Knowledge exchange or research impact – what is the difference between REF and KEF?

The UK research system has historically been innovative in its approach to measuring and assessing the impacts of academic research. However, the recent development of the Knowledge Exchange Framework (KEF), has elicited scepticism as to how this framework will significantly differ from the impact element of the Research Excellence Framework (REF). In this post Hamish McAlpine and Steven […]

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