Posts in AMC Category

Impact Case Study Action Plans

As part of the REF readiness exercise in preparation for our REF submission in 2020, the Impact, Engagement and Environment Coordinator, in conjunction with the School Impact Coordinators, is holding a series of ‘Impact Case Study Action Plan’ meetings with identified case study leads.

Initial meetings have already started to take place and will continue throughout September and October. These will be followed up by mid-point review and year-end review meetings.

The aim of these meetings is to set a number of SMART objectives to guide our case study leads through the development of their case studies across the next two years in preparation for the final REF submission.

 

 

Key areas of focus include:

  • Creation of an ‘impact’ folder within Figshare in order to deposit all impact evidence collected to date and to maintain on an ongoing basis
  • Identification of research outputs to be included as ‘underpinning research’ for the impacts claimed in the case study
  • Completion of a stakeholder analysis to identify who has benefitted so far from the research, who to contact for testimonials, who to target to generate future impact and so on
  • Redrafting of impact case study information to date to reflect development of objectives and to shape the final submission

 

Further details on what constitutes an impact and how to measure ‘reach and significance’ of the impact have been released by REF in their draft panel guidance.

These details can be found here: https://www.ref.ac.uk/publications/

This list is not exhaustive, but provides a useful overview of the many different ways that research can generate an impact of some kind. Some food for thought!

 

Peer review of impact case studies

It is anticipated that both formal and informal internal peer reviews of impact case studies will be held in late 2018/early 2019, with another external peer review planned for Summer 2019.

Development of impact case studies through adherence to the ‘Impact Case Study Action Plan’ should help our case study leads to submit further drafts of their impact case studies for peer review to enable meaningful feedback to be provided and fed into future iterations of the action plan.

 

Why not take this opportunity to check out this and other impact resources available on the REF staff intranet: https://www.salford.ac.uk/ref


PCH Staff Engagement at Nankai University, PR China

During the course of the summer, two members of Politics and Contemporary History were involved in teaching and lecturing at Nankai University, Tianjin, China. Dr Moritz Pieper presented a research paper at the Zhou Enlai School of Government, while Prof Alaric Searle delivered a four-week course on ‘Classic Works of British Historiography’ to undergraduates in the Faculty of History.

The title of Moritz’s talk was ‘Mapping Eurasia: Comparing the Competing Public Diplomacies of Russia’s “Greater Eurasia” and China’s “Belt and Road”’, which he delivered on 19 June. In his guest lecture, he presented a survey of the public diplomacies of China’s Belt and Road initiative and Russia’s vision of ‘Greater Eurasia’. Despite a level of economic competition between the operating modes of the economic land corridors envisioned under China’s ‘new Silk Road’ initiative and the Russian-dominated Eurasian Economic Union, Moritz argued, a convergence of interests between Russia and China on the global plane might temper the effects of regional rivalry.

 

Moritz Pieper delivering his paper at Nankai University

 

The presentation reflects Moritz’s current research project on the Belt and Road Initiative and its significance for Central Asia, for which he was awarded a Vice-Chancellor’s Early Career Research Scholarship. Students and staff alike engaged in a lively discussion about Central Asia, Trump, and IR afterwards, followed by some Peking duck sampling.

Alaric Searle’s course, which was delivered in the Faculty of History at Nankai during July, was part of his role as Distinguished Visiting Professor, which he has held since June 2016. Alaric noted: ‘It is always interesting to teach in China because students will often have a very different perspective on history. Some parts of British history are, not surprisingly, less well-known to Chinese students, so it is always interesting to try and explain unknown territory to them.’

Professor Searle is also involved in some research collaboration with Chinese historians. On these projects, he commented: ‘There are currently two collaborative projects I am working on with Chinese colleagues. One is nearing completion, while the other is still in its early stage. But, to coin a phrase … watch this space!’


Salford Historian Dr Brian Hall Wins Top National Prize

Dr Brian Hall, Lecturer in Contemporary Military and International History, has been awarded the ‘Whitfield Prize for 2018’ for the best first book on British or Irish History by the Royal Historical Society. The award was made in London during this summer, Friday, 6 July, when Brian was presented with the prize by the Society’s President, Prof Margot Finn.

His book, Communications and British Operations on the Western Front, 1914-1918, published last year by Cambridge University Press, came out on top in a strong field of seven monographs which were shortlisted for the prize. The Whitfield Prize is awarded for books which are original works of scholarship, they must be the author’s first work, published in English, and by an author who received their doctoral degree from a British or Irish university. Brian’s book was chosen from a shortlist of works by authors who received their PhDs from, among other institutions, the universities of Newcastle, Cambridge, Oxford, Birmingham and Queen’s Belfast.

Dr Brian Hall Receives his Prize from Prof Margot Finn

 

According to the judges: “Communications and British Operations on the Western Front, 1914-1918 is a landmark of First World War scholarship. Drawing on an impressive range of primary sources, the book is a compelling piece of historical exposition. It draws attention to an aspect of warfare that is vitally important and yet curiously neglected in the existing literature – the extent to which the participants know what is going on, and the methods they use to try to find out. A wide range of historians will be obliged to take note of this book’s lessons.”

Alaric Searle, Research Lead for Politics and Contemporary History, and Professor of Modern European History in the School of Arts and Media, commented: “This award is a fantastic accolade for Brian. This prize has been awarded continuously since 1977 and no former PhD student from Salford, or member of staff, has ever won it before. Furthermore, it is has been rare for authors of books on twentieth-century history to win; and, as if this was not enough, this is the first time that a straight work of military history has ever won.

And he added: “Thus, this prize has seen several ‘firsts’ for Salford, not least of all as Brian’s colleague Dan Lomas was also short-listed for the prize. As Brian completed all his degrees in Salford (as did Dan), this is very much a ‘made-in-Salford’ story.”

The Whitfield Prize for History, together with the Gladstone Prize for the best book on a topic not primarily related to British History, are two of the most prestigious early career awards in Britain and Ireland, carrying particular weight due to the central role of the Royal Historical Society in representing the views of academic historians in the UK. The award of the Whitfield Prize to Brian also sees him win in the 150th Anniversary Year of the Society.

 


PhD student presents films at leading media arts centre

Pavel Prokopic, a filmmaker and Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) North West Consortium funded PhD candidate in the School of Arts and Media, is presenting his films at leading media arts centre, FACT, in Liverpool, from 21 to 23 August.

Pavel has been on placement at FACT for the past six months, where he has been developing his practice-based research in ‘affective cinema’.

Rather than focusing on story and character development as many films do, affective cinema instead aims to create moments of strong feeling, through alternative approaches to cinematography and the directing of performers. As Pavel says, affective cinema ‘does not aim to tell a story’, rather it explores ‘the beauty of images and unpredictability of reality’, through ‘the infinite palette of cinema’.

Pavel’s supervisor and co-director of postgraduate research in the School of Arts and Media, Dr Joanne Scott, commented: “It’s great that Pavel has taken full advantage of the opportunities for placement offered by the North West Consortium, through forging this link with FACT. It also demonstrates that the innovative, creative research that he and other postgraduate researchers are doing in the school is of interest to our leading cultural venues.”

Ten of Pavel’s short films will be presented at the venue, as part of an experimental video installation:

For more info click here

Still from one of Pavel’s films


Salford to benefit from funding to train new researchers

THE UNIVERSITY of Salford is one of seven North West institutions set to benefit from funding to train new researchers.

 

The North West Consortium Doctoral Training Partnership (NWCDTP), led by The University of Manchester, is one of 10 consortia who will share more than £170 million in funding from the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) over eight years.

This equates to funding and training for at least 225 new researchers in the arts and humanities through the NWCDTP.

DTPs provide innovative training environments for doctoral researchers. They include opportunities for PhD students to undertake broader training or development, such as language learning, overseas research visits, or placements with non-academic partners.

The consortium includes a wide variety of bodies beyond the university sector that students can engage with to further their experience, from multinational organisations to local museums and galleries.

 

 

Professor Seamus Simpson, Consortium Institutional Lead at the University of Salford, said: “I am delighted that the North West Consortium has been awarded this substantial funding to allow it to build on the achievements of the first phase of our Doctoral Training Partnership.

“We at Salford are proud members of the consortium and recognise the contribution AHRC funded students make to our postgraduate research community. We look forward with particular pleasure to hosting the annual consortium student research conference this October at our MediacityUK campus.”

Dr Erica Baffelli, NWCDTP Director, said: “On behalf of the North West Consortium Doctoral Training Partnership I am delighted by this new award from the AHRC, which will allow us to fund and train at least 225 new researchers in the arts and humanities. Since its formation in 2014, the NWCDTP has established a successful partnership that provides high-quality doctoral training across the whole range of the arts and humanities. In the new phase of the DTP we will build on our effective partnership to continue to innovate to produce impactful research.

“One-fifth of our studentships will be for collaborative PhDs, where projects are designed by the student and academic supervisor in collaboration with organisations from business, the public sector or the third sector. Our Early Career Strategy will support early career researchers by offering post-submission impact fellowships with non-HEI partners and therefore addressing the crucial challenge of transition to employment.

“We will also develop our collaboration with the ESRC NWSSDTP and with other DTPs based in the north of England. By providing high-quality and innovative research training, and promoting knowledge exchange with non-HEI organizations we aim at enabling doctoral students to develop into highly skilled leaders within and beyond the academy.”

Professor Edward Harcourt, the AHRC’s Director of Research, Strategy and Innovation, said: “The AHRC is delighted to announce its renewed commitment to the Doctoral Training Partnerships model. Our support for the next generation of arts and humanities researchers is critical to securing the future of the UK arts and humanities sector, which accounts for nearly a third of all UK academic staff, is renowned the world over for its outstanding quality, and which plays a vital part in our higher education ecosystem as a whole.

“We were extremely pleased with the response to our call, which saw high-quality applications from across the UK from a variety of diverse and innovative consortia, each with a clear strategy and vision for the future support of their doctoral students.”

The DTPs will start recruiting the first cohort of students imminently ahead of starting their studies in October 2019.

The NWCDTP is a Consortium of seven Research Organisations led by The University of Manchester and comprising:

  •  Keele University

  •  Lancaster University

  •  Manchester Metropolitan University

  •  Royal Northern College of Music

  •  University of Liverpool

  •  University of Salford

in partnership with:

  •  BBC

  •  FACT (Foundation for Art and Creative Technology)

  •  FutureEverything

  •  HOME

  •  Manchester City Council

  •  Museum of Science and Industry

  •  National Trust

  •  Opera North

  •  Staffordshire Archives

  •  Tate Liverpool

  •  The British Library

  •  The National Football Museum


Impact Case Study Examples

The University of Salford’s REF intranet site (www.salford.ac.uk/ref) has recently been updated to include some of the annotated case study drafts from the recent external peer review exercise.

The insightful comments from the peer reviewers will be used to help shape further case study drafts and also to help inform the forthcoming internal peer review process.

Examples can be found under the Impact section: External Peer Review

 

Some general points noted by the external peer reviewers include:

  • A number of case studies don’t distinguish between research and resulting impact, instead flagging impacts that appear to be benefits to the academy rather than societal impacts, so some further advice on that distinction might be useful
  • Some cases focus on dissemination at the expense of resulting impacts, again further advice and clarification might help
  • Some do not convincingly demonstrate robustness of underpinning research or links between the research and claimed impacts, some of this may be limitations in the research, some could be developed further
  • Most could improve the clarity with which impacts are articulated, and their apparent significance and reach (true of most cases, from a variety of institutions, at this stage)
  • Most need to supplement the current corroboration with more in depth, specific or appropriate evidence
  • It is very likely that submission of names and positions of staff, and dates of employment at the institution will be mandatory, so do that now, especially to show clarity around eligibility
  • All evidence will need to be submitted with the case studies so ensure it is in an accessible and appropriate format.  Where web pages are used, ensure you have preserved them and don’t just use standard links.

 

Further information on what makes a top impact case study can be found at the following external site, for example:

What makes a 4* Impact Case Study:

Fast Track Impact What Makes a 4 Star Impact Case Study.pdf

What made a 4* Impact Case Study in REF2014:

https://www.fasttrackimpact.com/single-post/2018/06/04/What-made-a-4-impact-case-study-in-REF2014

 

A section on how to identify 4* impact case studies on the REF2014 website and to look at lessons learned from REF2014 can also be found at:

https://teamsite.salford.ac.uk/sites/sc02/REF2021/SitePages/REF2014%20and%20Impact.aspx

 

Why not take this opportunity to check out this and other impact resources available on the REF staff intranet: https://www.salford.ac.uk/ref


Research Impact Resources

The University of Salford’s REF intranet site (www.salford.ac.uk/ref) provides a wealth of resources for researchers to tap into, wherever they may be on their impact journey. This ranges from those that are new to impact and those that are impact-aware through to experienced impact practitioners.

A few of the links to external resources available on the REF intranet site are as follows:

  1. Fast Track Impact (Prof Mark Reed)

Fast Track Impact resources can be accessed online at the following link:

http://www.fasttrackimpact.com/resources

 

This wealth of information includes:

  • Fast Track Research Impact Guides

 

A series of “how to” guides for researchers.

  • Fast Track Research Impact Podcasts

 

A series of twelve ½-hour podcasts around the subject of impact can be listened to here:

http://www.fasttrackimpact.com/podcast

  • Fast Track Impact: What makes a 4* impact case study?

 

Fast Track Impact What Makes a 4 Star Impact Case Study.pdf

https://www.fasttrackimpact.com/single-post/2018/06/04/What-made-a-4-impact-case-study-in-REF2014

 

  1. The Leadership Foundation Impact Toolkit

The Leadership Foundation have developed a Research Leaders Impact Toolkit designed to “offer a suite of research-based tools that can be used by higher education institutions to:

  • Develop a formal research impact strategy
  • Devise strategies for leading, managing and practising impact
  • Align impact work with engagement, knowledge exchange, outreach and quality improvement
  • Inform teaching and learning
  • Improve processes and infrastructure
  • Build capacity, skills and knowledge”

To access the toolkit, you will need to login to or create your “MyLF” account.

  1. Research Councils

Most Research Councils have specific guidance and advice about how to complete Pathways to Impact applications.

Further information on Research Councils can be found here: https://www.ukri.org/funding/funding-opportunities/

Funders ask for explicit answers to the following questions:

  • Who will benefit from this research?
  • How will they benefit from this research?
  • What will be done to ensure that they have the opportunity to benefit from this research?

Funders emphasise the importance of allocating sufficient costs/resources to activities described in impact plans.

 

  1. Taylor and Francis Editors

This is a useful website offering advice and guidance on how UK authors can be compliant with HEFCE’s open access policy:

http://editorresources.taylorandfrancisgroup.com/research-and-the-ref/

http://editorresources.taylorandfrancisgroup.com/category/citations-and-impact/

 

  1. UK Parliament

Research impact at the UK Parliament

This website provides you with everything you need to know to engage with Parliament as a researcher:

http://www.parliament.uk/research-impact?mc_cid=23e455bd5d&mc_eid=1648a9ffa9

It offers advice on:

What interests Parliament?

Why should you engage with Parliament?

How Parliament uses research

Ways to engage with Parliament

It also provides a number of ‘How To’ guides:

http://www.parliament.uk/get-involved/education-programmes/universities-programme/research-impact-at-the-uk-parliament/how-to-guides/

 

  1. Vertigo Ventures

Vertigo Ventures was founded to measure impact and works closely with clients to deliver high quality impact reporting, which provides clear and actionable insight into how individuals and organisations can maximise the reach and significance of their impact.

Vertigo Ventures provides a range of proprietary services, such as training workshops, consultancy services and the VV-Impact Tracker, all of which utilise an innovative online reporting framework known as VV-Impact Metrics.

The VV Hub can be accessed at: http://www.vertigoventures.com/impacthub/

Sign up for free webinars, newsletters and blogs relating to impact.

 

  1. Research To Action

Research to Action is a global guide to research impact. It offers reading lists, opportunities to blog as well as a number of ‘how to’ guides around key communication and engagement activities to help widen the dissemination of your research.

The website is found at: www.researchtoaction.org

A useful Rethinking Research Partnerships toolkit and discussion guide is found on the website and can be downloaded here: Research to Action Toolkit and Discussion Guide.pdf

 

  1. National Co-ordinating Centre for Public Engagement (NCCPE)

NCCPE’s definition of public engagement in the context of REF:

‘Public engagement’ (in the context of the REF) describes an approach to involving the public in meaningful roles in the development, uptake and/or application of research. The act of engaging the public with research does not count as impact. Impact is what happens when people interact with the research, take it up, react or respond to it. Public engagement doesn’t just happen when the research is complete. It can (and often does) take place before and during the research – for instance, helping to shape its focus and direction and its relevance to potential users.

The website is found at: https://www.publicengagement.ac.uk/

 

 

Why not take this opportunity to check out the impact resources available on the REF staff intranet: https://www.salford.ac.uk/ref

 


Impact at the Festival of Research

Salford is holding its inaugural Festival of Research this year between 25th June and 20th July 2018 across the campus.

The aim of the Festival is to showcase and celebrate Salford’s diverse research and its impact to a wider audience and will encourage both researchers and the general public to become involved.

In the week of 2nd-6th July there will be a concentration of physical events and conferences taking place, including the Salford Postgraduate Annual Researcher Conference (SPARC), which is a two-day PGR-focused showcase event.

Running alongside the Festival will be ‘Storytelling at Salford’: this is a larger project which forms part of the research training strategy and which is also linked to the University’s new research strategy. It involves the Salford Research community (PGRs, Academics and Leaders) recording short videos about what they do at Salford. The first 20 videos will be showcased as part of the festival and during the festival we will encourage more to participate and create videos themselves.

 

 

Targeted Impact Events

As part of the Festival we will be running a number of specifically impact-related events to help inspire our researchers to think more closely about the impact of their research and how they can best improve its significance and reach in the future.

 

Highlights include:

Wednesday, 27 June 2018: Fast Track Impact case study writing workshop with Prof Mark Reed

Mark will focus specifically on the REF and what makes a good impact case study, how to improve your writing around impact, as well as evidence collection tips. This workshop will also include detailed external peer review of 4 draft impact case studies, with recommendations of how these can be enhanced and improved.

To book: https://myadvantage.salford.ac.uk/students/events/Detail/597642/staff-development-fast-track-t

 

Thursday, 28 June 2018: Developing Your Narrative Sessions with Chris Simms, Royal Literary Fund

Chris is holding individual 40-minute mentoring sessions for researchers looking to develop their narrative and storywriting skills, whether it be for the purpose of formulating impact case studies, writing funding bids, making applications for research festivals or similar.

All enquiries: research-impact@salford.ac.uk

 

Tuesday, 3 July 2018: Impact Case Study Writing Retreat (MCUK)

Space will be made available to each School to spend dedicated time working on existing or potential impact case study drafts. Impact Coordinators will be on hand to provide advice and guidance and researchers will be able to access resources from the REF intranet site and use the Figshare data repository to gather impact evidence.

To book:

AM: https://myadvantage.salford.ac.uk/students/events/Detail/604998/festival-of-research-impact-ca

PM: https://myadvantage.salford.ac.uk/students/events/Detail/605001/festival-of-research-impact-ca

 

Wednesday, 11 July 2018: Developing Your Narrative Sessions with Chris Simms, Royal Literary Fund

Chris is holding individual 40-minute mentoring sessions for researchers looking to develop their narrative and storywriting skills, whether it be for the purpose of formulating impact case studies, writing funding bids, making applications for research festivals or similar.

All enquiries: research-impact@salford.ac.uk

 

Why not take this opportunity to check out the Festival of Research website to find events of interest to you: https://www.salford.ac.uk/researchfest

Join the conversation:

#salfordresearchfest         @Festivalofrese1

 


TWO SALFORD HISTORIANS SHORT-LISTED FOR PRESTIGIOUS WHITFIELD PRIZE

Two members of staff from the Directorate of Journalism, Politics and Contemporary History, School of Arts and Media, have been shortlisted for the prestigious Whitfield Prize for 2018, awarded annually by the Royal Historical Society for the best first monograph on either British or Irish history. Dr Dan Lomas, Lecturer in International History, and Dr Brian Hall, Lecturer in Contemporary Military History, have both been selected by the jury for the shortlist. Dr Lomas’ book, entitled Intelligence, Security and the Attlee Governments, 1945–1951: An Uneasy Relationship? was published by Manchester University Press, while Dr Hall’s book, Communications and British Operations on the Western Front, 1914-1918, was published by Cambridge University Press.

Alaric Searle, Professor of Modern European History, and Research Lead for Politics and Contemporary History, said, “I am delighted for both Brian and Dan, not just because they are excellent colleagues but also because they are developing into equally excellent historians in their own right. ”

 

        

 

To be eligible for the Whitfield Prize, a book must be the author’s first published work, on a subject of British or Irish history, and the author must have received his/her PhD from a British or Irish university. The other authors shortlisted received their doctorates from the universities of Oxford, Royal Holloway, King’s College London, Queen’s Belfast and Birmingham. As Alaric noted: “What makes this recognition all the more noteworthy is that both Dan and Brian received their PhDs from the University of Salford; and, Salford has never had either a member of staff, or a former Salford PhD student, shortlisted for this award. Thus, to have two nominations in the same year is a great achievement. It provides just one more indicator of the quality of research being conducted in Politics and Contemporary History at the moment.”

He added: “I am not that surprised about the nomination as I know the quality of work both Dan and Brian have been publishing. In fact, Brian’s book was shortlisted earlier this year for the Templar Medal for the Best First Book, awarded by the Society for Army Historical Research.”

The winner of the Whitfield Prize is to be announced next month by the Royal Historical Society, which is celebrating its 150th anniversary this year.


Peer Review of Impact Case Studies

According to Fast Track Impact’s calculations (see: http://www.fasttrackimpact.com/single-post/2017/02/01/How-much-was-an-impact-case-study-worth-in-the-UK-Research-Excellence-Framework for further details), the best impact submissions to REF2014, i.e. those achieving a 4* star narrative case study, had a currency exchange of some £324,000 (£46,300 per year between 2015/16-2021/22). By contrast, a 4* research output was typically valued at between £5,000-£25,000. Generally speaking, impact case studies are thought to be worth around 5 times more than outputs at higher full-time equivalents (FTEs).

As such, the huge potential value this may bring to institutions cannot be underestimated, particularly given the increased weighting of impact from 20% to 25% for the next REF exercise in 2021. Consequently, institutions employ a number of strategies and resources to ensure the best possible outcomes of their REF impact submissions. For example, there are reports of significant sums being spent by some universities in the REF2014 exercise on copy editors or science writers in order to create compelling narratives that would stand up to the scrutiny of the REF panel members.

A robust internal and external peer review process is one means of tracking progress over time in order to enhance and improve narratives and impact evidence ahead of the final REF submission in 2020.

 

Upcoming peer review events

The University of Salford is undertaking its first external peer review of draft impact case studies this Summer as part of its REF Readiness exercise. This will give the University a snapshot of where things stand and where improvements still need to made in the 2 years leading up to the REF submission. The feedback from the external peer review will inform the planned internal peer review due to take place in early 2019.

 

Dates for the diary include:

Monday, 18 June 2018 – Friday, 29 June 2018: External peer review of 10 x impact case studies across UoAs      This will include review and annotation of draft case studies, an overview report, notes on potential grades and advice on how to enhance impact.

Monday, 25 June 2018 – Friday, 20 July 2018: University of Salford Festival of Research       A month-long programme of events celebrating and promoting the University’s valuable research. This will include a REF-focused impact case study writing workshop, an impact ‘writing retreat’ and one-to-one mentoring on impact narratives.

Wednesday, 27 June 2018: Fast Track Impact case study writing workshop with Prof Mark Reed           Mark will focus specifically on the REF and what makes a good impact case study, how to improve your writing around impact, as well as evidence collection tips. This workshop will also include detailed external peer review of 4 draft impact case studies, with recommendations of how these can be enhanced and improved.

 

To book: https://myadvantage.salford.ac.uk/students/events/Detail/597642/staff-development-fast-track-t

 

Why not take this opportunity to look at the upcoming peer review meetings and events information on our REF Intranet site at: https://teamsite.salford.ac.uk/sites/sc02/REF2021/SitePages/Training.aspx