The Diversity of Knowledge Exchange
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The Diversity of Knowledge Exchange Ian Diamond ESRC. Personal Position. ‘No-one should take public money to undertake research unless they are committed, where appropriate, to maximise both the academic AND non-academic impact’ This implies EXCELLENCE with IMPACT. RCUK Vision.

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Personal position
Personal Position

‘No-one should take public money to undertake research unless they are committed, where appropriate, to maximise both the academic AND non-academic impact’

This implies EXCELLENCE with IMPACT

Rcuk vision
RCUK Vision

An excellent research capability for the longer term

Delivery of both academic and non-academic impact

Underpinning the development of UK society, culture and economy (and beyond)

A belief in excellence
A Belief in Excellence

  • Research methods:

    • rigorous and repeatable

    • conducted to highest methodological standards

  • Intellectually and technically challenging

  • Shapes the research work of others

  • Changes our understanding of the world we live in

  • Assessed by peer review

Public expectations
Public Expectations

Increased investment in research

Increased expectations of further enhancing benefits from research

Increased obligation to demonstrate a greater impact from research

What can constitute impact from ref consultation
What can constitute Impact? (from REF Consultation)

  • Social

  • Public Policy and Services

  • Health

  • Environmental

  • Cultural

  • QoL

  • Economic

Some examples of impact
Some Examples of Impact

  • Supply of well educated people with relevant skills

  • Ensuring research, where appropriate, impacts on business, government and voluntary sector

  • Increasing ease of movements between academia and other sectors

Ahrc centre for surrealism

led to the Undercover Surrealism exhibition at London’s Haywood Gallery, which

generated economic impact of at least £1M;

has restored the credibility of surrealism research;

contributed to development of the creative industries.

AHRC Centre for Surrealism

Bbsrc institute of animal health

A reference laboratory for several animal diseases; Haywood Gallery, which

has contributed include the eradication of Rinderpest,

a net economic benefit to Africa of over $1,000 million annually

BBSRC Institute of Animal Health

Esrc centre for analysis of social exclusion

Research into factors which promote/prevent exclusion, recovery and regeneration

Contributed to Government evidence-based policy making

Direct influence on UK Government Sure Start programme ~ £1M p.a.

ESRC Centre for Analysis of Social Exclusion

Research councils uk impact
Research Councils UK Impact recovery and regeneration

  • To advance knowledge, understanding and technology, and provide trained researchers;

  • To build partnerships that enhance take-up and impact, thereby contributing to the:

    • economic competitiveness of the United Kingdom,

    • effectiveness of public services and policy, and

    • enhancement of the quality of life and creative output of the nation.

      *derived from the Royal Charters of the Research Councils

What do we know about impact
What do we Know About Impact? recovery and regeneration

  • UK research makes a huge contribution to society and the economy: both UK and global impacts

  • For the Research Councils we find:

    • Diversity of impacts across portfolio

    • Multiplicity of processes to achieve impact

    • Expected impacts and serendipity – co-production and follow on

    • Impacts manifest at many scales: project, person, organisation etc

    • Time lags and multiplier effects

    • Researchers and research are enriched by impact

    • However, scope to articulate both potential impact and achievement more strongly

Maximising impact
Maximising Impact recovery and regeneration

  • Factors (sometimes) influencing the likelihood and speed of impact (but sometimes it takes time):

    • Right project at right time

    • Entrepreneurial approach: within, beyond and after projects

    • Involvement of third parties, particularly as collaborating users

Peer review operational changes
Peer Review Operational Changes recovery and regeneration

  • Applicants to explain:

    • Academic Summary: how will this research contribute to knowledge?

    • Impact Summary: Who will benefit from this research? How?

    • Impact Planning: What you will do to ensure benefit?

  • Review and assessment

    • Peer reviewers to consider potential impact (where appropriate) when prioritising excellent research

    • Diversity of assessment criteria across portfolio: “not one size for all”

    • We will continue to support excellent research without obvious and immediate impact, within a balanced portfolio

  • No dramatic shift in the balance of y/our research portfolio

    • Better application of research, not more applied research

    • Impact will be part of the currency and language of research

    • Greater visibility of impacts and greater pride in achievement

    • Key purpose of impact plans is to help with peer review assessment

      but also offers opportunities to help us support and evaluate key


  • Some esrc opportunities
    Some ESRC Opportunities recovery and regeneration

    • Ensuring, where appropriate, engagement of users in research from day zero eg RELU, LWEC

    • Science journalists attached to programmes

    • Opportunities for Follow on ‘Impact Grants’

    • Policy Review Seminars

    • Placement Fellowships (and ‘Reverse Placements’)

    • Joint Phd Studentships

    • PhD Internships

    • Voucher Schemes (with industry and third sector)

    • Public Engagement Programmes – ESRC lead on LWEC

    • Schools engagement programme

    • Large data sets easily accessible

    • Easy electronic access to research results through ESRC depository

    When do you learn
    When do you learn? recovery and regeneration

    • Need a cradle to grave approach

    • Put in PhD Training

    • Lifelong Learning

    Fundamental messages
    Fundamental Messages recovery and regeneration

    • No compromise on quality

    • A partnership with researchers and HEIs

    • Recognition of Non-academic Impact (including public engagement) in career structures

    • Delivering the dual hurdle of excellence with impact