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 […]
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 […]
AmeliCA before Plan S – The Latin American Initiative to develop a cooperative, non-commercial, academic led, system of scholarly communication
Open access is often discussed as a process of flipping the existing closed subscription based model of scholarly communication to an open one. However, in Latin America an open access ecosystem for scholarly publishing has been in place for over a decade. In this post, Eduardo Aguado-López and Arianna Becerril-Garcia discuss open access developments in Latin America and the AmeliCA initiative to develop […]
In Can Science Make Sense of Life?, Sheila Jasanoff questions whether the scientific capacity to manipulate life at the molecular level should also give science the authority to define what life is for. Exploring various cases to show how (techno)scientific knowledge embeds and is embedded in our social practices, identities, norms, institutions and ways of speaking, this book is a salient introduction […]
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 […]
Developing a finer grained analysis of research impact: Can we assess the wider effects of public engagement?
Promoting public engagement with research has become a core mission for research funders. However, the extent to which researchers can assess the impact of this engagement is often under-analysed and limited to success stories. Drawing on the example of development aid, Marco J Haenssgen argues we need to widen the parameters for assessing public engagement and begin to develop […]
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 […]
Plan S, a funder led initiative to drive open access to research, will have significant impacts on the ways in which academics publish and communicate their research. However, beyond simply changing the way academics disseminate their research, it will also influence how learned societies, the organisations tasked with representing academics in particular disciplines, operate, as many currently depend […]
Co-production – the inclusion of the stakeholders of research into the research process – is often presented as the gold standard for the production of socially relevant high impact research. However, undertaking co-produced research presents a range of challenges and risks that can be overlooked in the rush to engagement and impact. In this post Kathryn Oliver, Anita Kothari, […]
Building on Katherine Dommett’s and Warren Pearce’s recent post on the evidence for public trust in experts, Matt Wood argues that whilst the death of the expert has been oversold, the question of how expertise is put to use in modern democracies remains an unresolved dilemma. Drawing on research underpinning his recent book, Hyper-active Governance, he suggests that competing […]
The purpose of peer review is often portrayed as being a simple ‘objective’ test of the soundness or quality of a research paper. However, it also performs other functions primarily through linking and developing relationships between networks of researchers. In this post, Flaminio Squazzoni explores these interconnections and argues that to understand peer review as simply an exercise in […]
The applicability of Randomised Control Trials (RCTs) to the social sciences has been widely questioned. However, assessing the effectiveness of RCTs, in practice has proved difficult. In this post, Naila Kabeer reflects on her recent research into randomised control trials utilised as part of a programme to alleviate poverty in West Bengal and highlights how, when RCTs are used […]
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 […]
Does evidence still matter? 10 strands of continuity and change in evidence based policy and practice
The concept of evidence based public policy has been well established for over 20 years and unsurprisingly has sustained numerous critiques and criticisms over this period. In this post Annette Boaz, Sandra Nutley, Huw Davies, and Alec Fraser, present findings from a new international review of the evidence based policy paradigm and highlight 10 ways in which […]
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 […]
The internet has had a double impact on scholarly communication in the global south, making it easier for these countries to access research and also making research published in these countries more accessible. In this post Dr Haseeb Irfanullah discusses how Bangladesh has adapted to this new scholarly communication system and highlights the need for strong research infrastructures and […]
A persistent problem for higher education policy has been how to ensure a steady supply of doctoral graduates equipped to deal with today’s global challenges. In this post Hugo Horta, Mattia Cattaneo and Michele Meoli examine the relationship between PhD funding and research productivity during PhD studies with time taken to complete a PhD and suggest that a key […]
Third mission accomplished? Why are universities bad at engaging with local and regional government and what we can do about it.
Universities are increasingly called upon to engage with local and regional government, namely as part of a ‘third academic mission’, but how effectively do they incentivize academics to do so? Using evidence from her study of the University of Aveiro, Liliana Fonseca explores the barriers that hinder engagement with these institutions and makes recommendations for how universities could expand […]