Posts in SBS Category

Preparing for impact peer review

This month we are conducting an internal peer review of our potential impact case studies in preparation for REF2021. Twenty of these will subsequently be selected for external peer review in June.

Each Unit of Assessment (UoA) team has been asked to assign at least two reviewers to each impact case study (1 x Lead reviewer from the same UoA, 1 x Associate reviewer from a different UoA and, optionally, 1 x Non-academic reviewer [industry partner or similar]).

Reviewers have been given 4 weeks to look over the case studies and provide their feedback on a review sheet covering each of the 5 main areas in the impact case study (Summary of the impact; Underpinning research; References to the research; Details of the impact; Sources to corroborate the impact).

Each of the 5 aspects of the case study form are rated using a traffic lights system (red, amber, green) to indicate whether this is:

• an area requiring significant development (red)

• an area requiring some improvement (amber) or

• an area that is well developed and on track for submission (green).

An overall impact case study traffic lights rating is then provided at the bottom of the feedback sheet to indicate:

  1. evidence of reach and significance
  2. potential for submission of the case study to REF2021.

Feedback will be provided to the case study leads during May 2019.

This process will help inform decision-making within each UoA and will also identify where there is a need to focus resource for the final year of the REF process.

Go to www.salford.ac.uk/ref to check out some examples of annotated case studies from our 2018 external peer review.


Refining your impact case studies

Our potential case study leads for REF2021 have recently submitted the second draft of their impact case studies, which will be assessed as part of an internal peer review process in April. Twenty of these will then also be selected for external peer review in June.

At this stage in the process, feedback from colleagues can be key in ensuring that the case studies reach their full potential. Following the internal and external peer reviews we will have just over a year to generate some more impact, collect impact evidence and refine the narrative further before the REF submission deadline.

With this in mind, here are a few key points for our case study leads, or indeed anyone submitting an ‘impact statement’ for funding purposes or similar, to consider.

Key points to remember:

• Convincingly demonstrate the robustness and quality of the underpinning research in the first instance

• Distinguish between the underpinning research and resulting impact: establish the causation and make sure that there is a golden thread running through the narrative

• Do not focus too heavily on dissemination at the expense of resulting impacts: make sure you are not purely describing your pathway to impact

• Clearly articulate each of the impacts claimed, and their apparent significance and reach

• Ensure there is sufficient corroboration of the impact using appropriate evidence (testimonials, quotes from key stakeholders, citations in policy documents or in the media, documented changes to guidelines etc.)

• Where web pages are used, ensure you have preserved them (screen shots etc.) and don’t just use standard links that may become broken over time

Generating impact

If you are looking to generate some further impact to bolster your case study, don’t forget to consider the following:

1. Create a pathways to impact statement to clearly set out the impacts you are hoping to achieve

2. Complete a publics/stakeholder analysis to identify who you are hoping to influence

3. Engage with your stakeholders at every stage in the research process

4. Identify activities to engage with your publics

5. Drive impact online by developing a social media strategy

Go to www.salford.ac.uk/ref to check out some examples of annotated case studies from our 2018 external peer review.


Confirmed Impact Guidance for REF2021

With less than 2 years to go until our REF submission (deadline: Friday, 27th November 2020), the final set of guidance materials for REF2021 (including guidance on submissions and panel guidelines) was published on 31 January 2019 following wide consultation with the sector in late 2018. The final guidance documentation is available at www.ref.ac.uk/publications/

What does this mean for impact?

The salient points to take from the final REF guidance on impact case study submission are as follows:

Definition of impact for the REF

For the purposes of the REF, impact is defined as an effect on, change or benefit to the economy, society, culture, public policy or services, health, the environment or quality of life, beyond academia.

Impact includes, but is not limited to, an effect on, change or benefit to:

• the activity, attitude, awareness, behaviour, capacity, opportunity, performance, policy, practice, process or understanding

• of an audience, beneficiary, community, constituency, organisation or individuals

• in any geographic location whether locally, regionally, nationally or internationally

Impact also includes the reduction or prevention of harm, risk, cost or other negative effects.

Impacts will be assessed in terms of their ‘reach and significance’ regardless of the geographic location in which they occurred, whe

ther locally, regionally, nationally or internationally.

Impact also includes the reduction or prevention of harm, risk, cost or other negative effects.

Each of the four main panels (A, B, C, D) have slightly different requirements for the following:

• Continued case studies

• Indicators of quality for underpinning research

UoA Leads/Deputies are therefore encouraged to look closely at the panel guidance for their particular panel when reviewing impact case study drafts.

Submission requirements

• Each submission must include impact case studies (REF3 template) describing specific impacts that have occurred during the assessment period (1 August 2013 to 31 July 2020) that were underpinned by excellent research undertaken in the submitted unit. The underpinning research must have been produced by the submitting HEI during the period 1 January 2000 to 31 December 2020.

• This may include, for example, impacts at an early stage, or impacts that may have started prior to 1 August 2013 but continued into the period 1 August 2013 to 31 July 2020. Case studies will be assessed in terms of the reach and significance of the impact that occurred only during the period 1 August 2013 to 31 July 2020, and not in terms of any impact prior to this period or potential future or anticipated impact after this period.

• When writing case studies, submitting units should refer to the guidelines for presenting quantitative data set out in the ‘Guidelines for standardising quantitative indicators of impact within REF case studies’. These guidelines have been developed to enable more consistent presentation of quantitative evidence in case studies. This document (and a summary thereof) can be found separately at www.salford.ac.uk/ref under Impact Evidence Collection.

• More than one submitted unit (within the same HEI and/or in different HEIs) may include the same impact within their respective case studies, so long as each submitted unit produced excellent research that made a distinct and material contribution to the impact. In such cases, units may provide common descriptions of the impact arising, where they so wish.

• Impact case studies continued from examples submitted in 2014 will be eligible for submission in REF 2021 as long as they meet the 2021 eligibility criteria, including the length of the window for underpinning research and the assessment period for the impact described.

Go to www.salford.ac.uk/ref to check out all the REF guidance and more.


Research Impact Fund – Special Call

To support researchers at Salford in becoming more ‘impactful’, the University operates an internal Research Impact Fund, which offers:

• up to £1000 that must be match-funded by your School/Research Centre, to individuals and groups in support of activities that reflect the University’s desire to increase the impact and reach of its research, and/or highlight strategic engagement that builds upon the University’s vision to pioneer ‘exceptional industry partnerships’.

Or

• up to £1500 that must be match-funded by your School/Research Centre, to identified REF impact case study leads seeking to increase their dissemination and impact generation activities for the remainder of the current REF cycle.

Applications should be aligned to one or more of the following themes:

  • Strengthening interaction – seeking to nurture and build upon relationships with non-academic partners, aligning with strategic goal of the University – the Industry Collaboration Zones
  • Broadening research – in line with REF and funder requirements, to expand the reach and influence of research outcomes, in addition to introducing greater partner contribution into the design of future research
  • Promoting social benefit – demonstrating how the application of research-based knowledge might lead to practical and focused solutions at a range of scales

Suggested Activities                                                                                                 

The following list is not exhaustive:

  • The translation of research findings for non-academic audiences (e.g. policy reports, leaflets, audio-visual materials, etc.)                                 
  • Events or workshops with a focus on non-academic stakeholders (dissemination or activity-based)
  • The trialling of creative modes of public engagement (e.g. exhibitions or film screenings)
  • The commercialisation of research findings through IP protection and/or business engagement
  • The formation or strengthening of networks outside academia (e.g. visits/meetings to build relationships, or the initial development of a web/social media platform)
  • Exchange or placement activities (e.g. within an external non-HEI organisations, or through the placement of a non-HEI partner within the University)
  • The development of pedagogical materials (e.g. online training resources or ‘train the trainer’ sessions)

The 2018/19 Fund is currently open for a special call for new applications, with a deadline of Friday, 1st March 2019.

Further details and the application form can be found on the Impact Funding page at www.salford.ac.uk/ref

If you would like to find out more about the Research Impact Fund, or impact in general, please contact Emma Sutton, Impact, Engagement and Environment Coordinator on research-impact@salford.ac.uk


2019 preparations and ‘REF readiness’

With Christmas fast approaching, here in the REF team we are already turning our attention to 2019 and considering how our REF readiness activities will start to take shape. In terms of our preparations around impact, the new year will herald a raft of targeted activities to help ensure that our case study submission in 2020 is the strongest it can possibly be.

Key deadlines

A few key dates in 2019 for our impact case study leads to bear in mind are as follows:

  • 28 February 2019 – Submission of revised impact case study drafts (using new REF2021 template)
  • February/March 2019 – Impact Action Plan mid-point review meetings
  • March 2019 – Recording of short impact videos (via Marketing & External Relations)
  • 8 April 2019 – Chris Simms informal peer review workshop
  • April 2019 – Planned formal internal peer review of impact case studies
  • June 2019 – Planned formal external peer review of impact case studies

The above dates are complemented by the University’s ‘SECRET’ researcher development programme, which is designed to ensure that our researchers are ‘REF ready’. Further details can be found through our Salford Advantage pages at: https://www.salford.ac.uk/staff-development

The programme includes our monthly one-to-one storytelling mentoring sessions with Chris Simms (bookings through research-impact@salford.ac.uk), impact writing retreats, bidding and funding information sessions, REF briefings and much more.

Alternatively, training of interest is also listed on our Training Calendar, which can be found at: www.salford.ac.uk/ref

 


Impact Guidance for REF2021

The initial set of guidance materials for REF2021 (including guidance on submissions and panel guidelines) was published in July 2018 and consultation with the sector was concluded on 15th October 2018.

The final guidance is due to be published in January 2019, after which time the University will hold a series of briefing meetings through our appointed Unit of Assessment Leads to update colleagues on the key details.

In the meantime, the salient points to take from the latest REF consultation documents on impact case study submission is as follows:

 

Definition of impact for the REF

For the purposes of the REF, impact is defined as an effect on, change or benefit to the economy, society, culture, public policy or services, health, the environment or quality of life, beyond academia.

Impact includes, but is not limited to, an effect on, change or benefit to:

  • the activity, attitude, awareness, behaviour, capacity, opportunity, performance, policy, practice, process or understanding
  • of an audience, beneficiary, community, constituency, organisation or individuals
  • in any geographic location whether locally, regionally, nationally or internationally

Impact also includes the reduction or prevention of harm, risk, cost or other negative effects.

Impacts will be assessed in terms of their ‘reach and significance’ regardless of the geographic location in which they occurred, whether locally, regionally, nationally or internationally.

**Further guidance about how panels will assess the case studies against the criteria of reach and significance is found separately at www.salford.ac.uk/ref under Impact Evidence Collection.**

 

Submission requirements

  • Each submission must include impact case studies (REF3 template) describing specific impacts that have occurred during the assessment period (1 August 2013 to 31 July 2020) that were underpinned by excellent research undertaken in the submitted unit. The impacts may have been at any stage of development or maturity during this period, so long as some effect, change or benefit meeting the definition of impact took place during that period.

 

  • This may include, for example, impacts at an early stage, or impacts that may have started prior to 1 August 2013 but continued into the period 1 August 2013 to 31 July 2020. Case studies will be assessed in terms of the reach and significance of the impact that occurred only during the period 1 August 2013 to 31 July 2020, and not in terms of any impact prior to this period or potential future or anticipated impact after this period.

 

  • The underpinning research must have been produced by the submitting HEI during the period 1 January 2000 to 31 December 2020. Underpinning research may be a body of work produced over a number of years or may be the output(s) of a particular project. It may be produced by one or more individuals.

 

  • When writing case studies, submitting units should refer to the guidelines for presenting quantitative data set out in the ‘Guidelines for standardising quantitative indicators of impact within REF case studies’. These guidelines have been developed to enable more consistent presentation of quantitative evidence in case studies. This document (and a summary thereof) can be found separately at www.salford.ac.uk/ref under Impact Evidence Collection.

 

  • More than one submitted unit (within the same HEI or in different HEIs) may include the same impact within their respective case studies, so long as each submitted unit produced excellent research that made a distinct and material contribution to the impact.

 

  • Impact case studies continued from examples submitted in 2014 will be eligible for submission in REF 2021 as long as they meet the 2021 eligibility criteria.

 

 

Go to www.salford.ac.uk/ref to check out all the latest REF guidance.

 

 

 


ESRC Festival of Social Science – November 2018

The University of Salford, alongside partner institutions Manchester Metropolitan University and the University of Manchester, are running over 30 events across Manchester and Salford as part of this year’s ESRC Festival of Social Science, 3-10 November 2018.

The Festival showcases Manchester social science research to a broad non-academic audience. This brings together an eclectic blend of activities designed to celebrate the social sciences, including discussions and debates, exhibitions, film screenings, walkabouts, family fun days, schools visits, workshops, and lots more.

Aims of the Festival

Through its Festival of Social Science, the ESRC aims to:

  • Encourage, support and create the opportunity for social science researchers to engage with non-academic audiences
  • Promote and increase awareness of the social sciences and ESRC’s research
  • Promote and increase awareness of the contributions the social sciences make to the wellbeing and the economy of the UK society
  • Enable the public to engage with social science research
  • Engage with teachers and young people and to raise their awareness of the social sciences.

 

Contributions from our researchers in the School of Health & Society:

/ Catherine Thompson & Bruno Fazenda

Using VR nature environments to improve performance and wellbeing

Saturday 3rd November 10am – 5pm / Manchester Museum

 

/ Philip Brown, Lisa Scullion & Tim Isherwood

The power of design: exploring the role of creative research dissemination

Monday 5th November 5pm – 8pm / New Adelphi Building, University of Salford campus

 

/ Jack Wilson, Anthea Innes, Andrew Clark & Anya Ahmed

University of Salford dementia and ageing hub showcase

Tuesday 6th November 2.30pm – 4.30pm / G05 The Old Fire Station, University of Salford campus

 

/ Cathy Ure, Penny Cook, Liz Burns, Margaret Coffey & Suzy Hargreaves

Putting communities in charge of alcohol: a health champion model

Tuesday 6th November Time 5.30pm – 7.00pm / The Friends Meeting House, Manchester

 

/ Donna Peach, Gabi Hesk, Deanna Edwards & Andrea Pepe

Developing community engagement with the social sciences

Wednesday 7th November 12pm-8pm / Atrium, Adelphi Building, University of Salford campus

 

/ Tina Patel & Laura Connelly

Divided communities? What the Brexit future means for people in Salford

Thursday 8th November 1pm – 3pm / G05, The Old Fire Station, University of Salford campus

 

/ Michaela Rogers

Ageing with healthy relationships: overcoming barriers to help-seeking when experiencing domestic abuse

Friday 9th November 2018 – INVITE ONLY / The Pankhurst Centre, Manchester

 

/ Ian Cummins & Toni Wood

True crime and punishment: exploring the influence of cultural representations of crime

Saturday 10th November 10am – 3.30pm / MediaCity UK

 

/ Dilla Davis & Annie Nichols with Manchester Malayalee Cultural Association (MMCA)

After a heart attack – role of cardiac rehabilitation

Saturday 10th November, 2pm – 4pm / Woodhouse Park Lifestyle Center

 

 

Why not come along and join in the activities?

Full details of all events across the week are available at:  www.esrcmanchesterfest.ac.uk.

Tweet your comments using the hashtags #esrcfestival and #McrESRCfest


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


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