Category: REF 2021

The Grammar of Impact – What can we learn from REF 2014 about writing impact case studies? 

Impact case studies will form an important part of all universities’ eventual submissions to the next round of the Research Excellence Framework (REF). Drawing on a linguistic and thematic analysis of 175 impact case studies from REF 2014, Bella Reichard, Mark Reed, Jenn Chubb, Ged Hall, Lucy Jowett, Alisha Peart and Andrea Whittle set out … Continued

Impact a-gender? Calling out the gendered nature of research impact and assessment

Discussions about research impact are often littered with particular language that serves to demonstrate how different forms of impact are valued, promoted and sustained. Drawing on evidence from qualitative datasets, comprising interviews with researchers and research impact evaluators, Jennifer Chubb and Gemma Derrick argue that the language of research impact and assessment is frequently structured … Continued

From the armchair to the field – Mapping the impact of academic philosophy

The abstract nature of philosophy, and sometimes philosophers themselves, has often contributed to the perception that the discipline has difficulty engaging with wider social issues and hence impact. Using evidence from REF2014 impact case studies, Diana Hicks and J. Britt Holbrook chart five ways in which philosophers have achieved impact and applied philosophical thinking to … Continued

Impact ‘agenda’ or impact ‘phantom’? 

Responding to an emerging debate around the changing nature of the impact agenda in the UK, Richard Watermeyer, argues that the current moment presents a point of change; an opportunity to exorcise the ghosts of previous regimes of incentivising and assessing impact, and step towards a more meaningful social compact.  Jude Fransman’s excellent piece in THE deliberating the consequences of plans by UKRI to abandon pathway-to-impact statements (PIS) as formal aspects of research funding applications, has pushed much of my … Continued

2019 In Review: Practising research impact

The ways in research shapes and influences the wider world are a key focus of the LSE Impact Blog. This post brings together some of the top posts on the subject of research impact that featured on the Impact Blog in 2019. Invisible impact and insecure academics: structural barriers to engagement and why we should do it anyway Participatory Action […]

Knowledge exchange or research impact – what is the difference between REF and KEF?

The UK research system has historically been innovative in its approach to measuring and assessing the impacts of academic research. However, the recent development of the Knowledge Exchange Framework (KEF), has elicited scepticism as to how this framework will significantly differ from the impact element of the Research Excellence Framework (REF). In this post Hamish McAlpine and Steven Hill outline […]

To unlock the impact of ECR research, create stable academic identities

Societal impact has become the hallmark of high quality research, as is reflected in the decision to make impact worth 25% of REF 2021 assessments and the introduction of Research Missions into the Horizon Europe framework. However, the ability to produce societal impacts is often linked to career stage and job stability. Reporting on a survey of Early Career Researchers […]

The Impact Chain – How to craft an effective impact case study narrative

A vital part of any research assessment program is the ability to clearly demonstrate the impacts, whatever they may, of the research undertaken. In this post, Katy McEwan presents the impact chain approach for writing impact case studies. A method, which provides a framework for producing impact narratives and helps authors clearly describe and spotlight the consequences, intended and unintended, […]

REF2021: Adding Insult to Injury?

In this repost, Dr Liz Morrish responds to the recent guidelines issued for REF 2021. Highlighting potential unintended consequences and bad incentives, she argues that the ability of higher education institutions to enter staff into the REF who have been made redundant or removed from their positions, may lead to fewer opportunities and greater exploitation of already precariously employed academics. 57 days […]