Managing the raising of research productivity Professor Phyllis Tharenou Executive Dean Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences Flinders University A Golden Rule for individuals to improve Research Outputs: 2 or 3 or 4 for 1
Agenda • Measuring research performance • Research outputs • Publications, external research income • How to improve research performance • Increasing capacity • Recruitment, PhD students, data analysis support • Supporting areas of research strength • Associated systems to support research • Developing a culture for research • Conclusion: Strategy
Why measure school research performance? Evidence-basis to make decisions Assess progress eg uni goals, ERA criteria Compare to benchmarks Decide where to focus: For example — Support areas of strength or progress, or Improve areas of weak performance, or Leave some disciplines/schools focused on teaching Decide what to focus on to improve or support: For example — Quantity &/or quality publications Research income and which type of grants % of staff with PhDs % of research active staff Others Measuring Research Performance 3
What do you measure? Total publications (include A1, B1, C1, E1); quality eg A*/A; also per FTE Total research grant income or per FTE (Cats 1-4; all count in ERA) HDR load and time enrolled (and completions) Research-active staff, non-research active Benchmark measures: Always over time eg 5 year trends, Against other schools, faculties, external benchmarks eg ANZAM What level eg institutes?, schools?, faculties? Measuring Research Performance 4
Research Performance: Publications • Why publications are so important; eg • Lead to government funding eg ERA • Quality/quantity influence other successes in research • eg ARC grants, invitations, reputation, promotion • Main measure of research activity • Journal ranks: a measure of quality • Ranking of impact factors eg • Web of Science Journal Citation Reports • Also other schemes eg Scopus: SJR at scimagojr.com&/OR • A publicly available, credible ranking scheme eg • Oz Business Deans Council, others • A*, A, B, C, unranked • Also have ranks for Teaching journals eg Currie & Pandher. 2013. Management education journals’ rank and tier by active scholars. Academy of Management Learning and education, 12 (2), 194-218.
Research Performance: Publications • Citations • Why important • Measure of quality, counted for some disciplines in ERA • Leads to other successes • Count no. of cites and benchmark for: (1) a person’s publishing career: h-factor (2) an individual paper • At least 3 schemes: • Web of Science/ISI, • Scopus, • Google scholar/Publish or Perish harzing.com/pop.htm (Harzing, Anne-Wil. (2010) The Publish or Perish Book: your guide to effective and responsible citation analysis. Tarma Software Research Pty Ltd, Melbourne, Australia).
Research Performance: Publications • How to increase a paper’s citations Publish: • In journals with large readership nos. (eg international) • In a top journal by quality measures i.e., hi impact factors • A new contribution, a quality research design, top theory • On a hot topic or one of broad interest with lots of scholars • As part of a research program over time; where your name is known • Using a direct title representing the topic • In a journal that researchers in the field get or is easy to access • etc.
Research Performance: External Income • Category 1 grants (eg ARC, NHMRC) To help attain: • Improve track record/ROPE: publication quality/quantity • Provide training on writing/strategy, workshop drafts • Give expert ‘stranger’ feedback on drafts • Develop team applications • Apply strategy (eg success rates) eg Linkage 45% vs Discovery 22% • Cat. 2 (other public sector) and 3 (industry/for profit companies) grants • May not be competitive • Can be nontraditional research income if Research Office assesses as it as research in full or part • Ensure reported for HERDC, train prof & academic staff to ensure submitted
Research Performance: Cont’d Cat. 2 & 3 grants • Cat. 2 (other public sector) and 3 (industry/for profit companies) grants eg consulting projects; government non-research fellowships (eg ALA); at times PhD scholarships • Contract research • Consulting that involves research (clearly identified) • Grants from professional associations For example: • Cat 2: Australian Prudential Regulation Authority, Endeavour Awards, AUSAID tenders and grants eg Australian Leadership Award Fellowships; • Cat. 3: ICAA, Fullbright scholarships, Ian Potter, for-profit companies if part or all of consulting can be assessed as research • Others eg private companies if part is research
Research Performance: Cont’d Cat. 2 & 3 grants • Participation in research panels to enable greater chance of selection for Cat. 2 grants • Various government departments & orgs. set up own panels of academics from successful tenders eg • Australian Public Services Commission , DIISRTE & DEEWR, FACSIA • Work is project/contract mgt, report writing, data collection etc. • eg 2013 Request For Tenders for panels of researchers: • Leadership, Learning and Development Panel (Capability Development) • Executive Search and Recruitment Panel • eLearning Support Services and Solutions Panel • Research Services Panel • Participatory Planning, Research and Evaluation Panel • Provision of Social Policy Research, evaluation and investment in data and professional development service.
Research Performance: External Income • Category 4: CRCs (including nodes) • Especially for gaining PhD scholarships
Hiring is most successful way of quickly improving research performance: expensive Research leaders Mid level staff with research records or lower level with potential Strategic hiring What selection criteria — ARC success, top/A* publications Who does it — PVC/Exec Dean, Head – needs $s, part of uni strategy Sources — domestic and international scholars How Identify and actively pursue possible top recruits Hire to develop a research area or support an area of strength Also may need initial $ support eg hire other staff, PhD student scholarships, infrastructure Capacity: Recruitment 12
To work with academics and publish together: increases publication rate Sources eg own honours students, international applicants Provide support to complete in good time and to publish Sufficient no. of supervisors to take good applicants Good supervision eg operational fb, regular meetings, other Scholarships and loadings Conference paper support linked to PhD Infrastructure where needed Support for data collection Support for assistance with, and training in, data analysis techniques Capacity: PhD Students 13
Fulltime research fellow for faculty or large school to work with staff and students to gain research outputs: expensive Eg for: Submission of journal articles Analysis for student theses – PhD, Honours Support grant applications esp. Category 1 Tasks: Guides/helps with design of data collection and data analysis Develops capacity in practical data analysis, underlying statistics Lectures research methods with staff To retain a good research fellow eg Is an author on journal articles they do analyses for & helps write Give teaching opportunities, other development Provide opportunity for a permanent position and promotion Capacity: Data Analysis Support 14
Supporting Areas of Research Strength • Support areas of research strength: eg • Schools or Departments/Disciplines, or • Groups/discipline clusters • Centres/institutes • Staffing, training, mentoring, other support, infrastructure • Decide which areas to develop – 3 or 4 • Provide support to grow research groups • Take advantage of opportunities to hire leaders who can develop research groups and will attract staff, postdocs, and PhD students
Associated Systems to Improve Research Workload Models • Proportion of activities for balanced role eg 30-50:30-50:20 • Include time for targeted research achievements eg carrying out Cat. 1/ARC grants, PhD supervision within time (???past or current research outputs) • Increased teaching or other loads for non-researchers • Teaching-focused roles if university policy allows • Align new teaching developments with research strengths • Consultative 16
Associated Systems to Improve Research Performance Management • Determine non-research active staff (do more of other things) • Determine if should be teaching-focused staff • Assess if research professors continue in that role based on outputs • Determine individual research goals • Discuss staff retirement or transition out if needed, be careful 17
Associated Systems to Improve Research Research Management • Support by Heads of Schools • School policies • Workload models • Conference support for full papers that give submissions • Publishing support eg databases, other infrastructure • Mentoring, research clusters, training • Research leadership in schools eg • Director of research, HDR coordinator, Honours coordinator • Mentoring by research mentors/profs/assoc profs 18
Associated Systems to Improve Research Research Management (continued) • Faculty support: Specialist expertise & across-faculty training • Training & development of staff skills (eg pubs/A*, ARC grants) • Small Research Grants scheme • On draft ARC grants eg reader feedback, expert advice • Data analysis support 19
Associated Systems: Compensation Rewards for gaining specific targeted research outputs eg loadings?? Research-only positions for top researchers with specified outputs eg ARC grants Support for regular international research conference participation linked to outputs where Submitting full papers with refereeing, subsequently submitted Can make collaborations, form alliances for research; and Can keep up with top international scholars Support for travel to events of top/A* local research networks Support for PhDs to publish eg prizes, full conference papers submitted linked to thesis 20
Associated Systems: Developing a Staff Profile Hire staff with PhDs as a matter of policy Consider expensive nonresearch active staff close to retirement for transition out Support ECRs/postdocs: mentoring, encourage applications to available university schemes Support future research leaders Reward research active staff to retain Actively replace research active staff/leaders who leave In particular areas, improve completions of PhDs by staff 21
Developing a Research Culture • Ensure regular signals that support research while supporting good teaching eg • Strategic recruitment; selection criteria include relevant research outputs (PhD, publications, ext. grants) dependent on level • Regular training for research outputs • Mentoring programs • School seminar programs, Working paper series • Small grants schemes, top research conference support • Regularly measure research performance and present back • Celebrate success of researchers at all levels • Support successful research groups and individuals • Support ECRs, PhDs • Strategically support research initiatives if linked to outputs eg • Visitors’ programs, conference attendance, HDR activities, school small grant schemes
Conclusion: Strategy • Develop resource allocation and investment to reward research performance and build areas of research strength • Focus investment into priority areas with potential for success • Invest in internal grant funding schemes to support research projects with high potential • Support development programs for publishing eg workshops, teams • Link investment in their research activity to a person’s performance outputs • Develop stretch, realistic targets for research outputs • Seek improvement in ERA rankings (eg from 1 to 2, 2 to 3) • Help staff apply for Cats 2, 3 & 4 income not just Cat 1/ARC • Form strong links with industry groups and government agencies • Manage staff performance and recruit research-active staff • Recruit top researchers who can work with others internally to gain ARC grants and publish in top journals • Align new appointments with priority areas of research strength
Conclusion: Strategy • Develop a common measure of research performance for all academics to influence decisions on support, roles and workloads • “Encourage” staff in balanced portfolio roles to be research active • Ensure roles, workloads and performance management processes foster research focus and support research excellent staff • Reward research in workload schemes but tricky • Support scale and focus: eg research strengths & teams • Support collaborating where possible to create critical mass • Support possible new research centres (eg hi-performing areas) • Support new researchers • Build a cohort of national and international PhD students and integrate them with research teams • Support gaining of & resources for PhD students to complete • Support development of promising ECRs through workloads, targeted funding and development schemes eg mentoring