Posts tagged: Peer Review

‘Impact’ on Impact Preparations for REF2021

There is currently still some uncertainty around revised dates for REF2021. What we know at this stage is that the final REF2021 submission deadline has been moved from 27 November 2020 to some point in 2020, but this will be 31 March 2020 at the earliest.

The REF2021 impact generation period was originally set to end 31 July 2020. Given the ongoing challenges around the current coronavirus pandemic, Research England has consulted with the sector and it appears likely that the current impact generation period will be extended for an additional 5 months to 31 December 2020 in order to allow case study leads to undertake activities that have had to be cancelled or deferred as a result of Covid-19 within the new timeframe. read more


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
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    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
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    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:

    =&0=&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       read more