Managing Editor Sierra Williams presents a brief round-up of popular stories from around the web on higher education, academic impact, and trends in scholarly communication. Scientists split over Scottish independence vote: Research could founder or flourish if Scotland leaves the United Kingdom. by Elizabeth Gibney at Nature: One thing is clear: the patchwork of sources from which Scottish institutes currently obtain their funding means […]
Category: Research funding
Performance funding policies in higher education have had little effect on student outcomes.
In a study of over 500 four year post-secondary institutions in all fifty US states from 1993-2010, Amanda Rutherford and Thomas Rabovsky find that current performance funding policies are not associated with higher levels of student performance and that these policies may in fact contribute to lower performance over a longer period of time. However, more recent policies linked to institutional base funding may produce some […]
The role of the Research Funding Officer in building robust and dynamic foundations for impact.
The Research Funding Officer role is increasingly fundamental to impact, growing in importance as bidding becomes more competitive and the impact stakes get higher. Casper Hitchins and Julie Bayley argue that the dramatic elevation of impact in funding applications demands more insightful planning. Focus at the funding application stage not only generates more competitive bids, but also secures resources for the […]
The rejection of metrics for the REF does not take account of existing problems of determining research quality.
Amidst heavy scepticism over the role of metrics in research assessments, Martin Smith wonders whether the flaws of the current system have been fully recognised. There is no system of research assessment that is perfect and peer review may well be a better, although problematic, measure of quality than metrics. But the REF has become disproportionate. The question that arises is […]
Maximising the value of research data: developing incentives and changing cultures
The value of sharing research data is widely recognised by the research community and funders are setting in place stronger policy requirements for researchers to share data. But the costs to researchers in sharing their data can be considerable and the incentives are sometimes few and far between. A recent report from the cross-disciplinary Expert Advisory Group on Data Access […]
Performance-based research assessment is narrowing and impoverishing the university in New Zealand, UK and Denmark.
Susan Wright, Bruce Curtis, Lisa Lucas and Susan Robertson provide a basic outline of their working paper on how performance-based research assessment frameworks in different countries operate and govern academic life. They find that assessment methods steer academic effort away from wider purposes of the university, enhance the powers of leaders, propagate unsubstantiated myths of meritocracy, and demand conformity. But the latest quest […]
The FIRST Act’s demand for relevance at the expense of replication puts the entire scientific enterprise at risk.
The United States’ controversial FIRST Act would have profound implications for how social science research is managed and its funding allocated. David Takeuchi argues that even if the act doesn’t pass, it is clear that politicians are demanding more of a say in federally funded research. While a push to ensure research remains relevant can be a good thing, scientists and politicians […]
Evidence-based service delivery and development requires full range of interactions and connections with research.
To help expand understanding of how research makes an impact Sarah Morton draws from her extensive research into how different types of evidence are used to develop and improve key services. Research might raise awareness of an issue, change people’s knowledge or understanding of an issue, challenge attitudes, perceptions or ideas. Research use doesn’t just mean an instrumental application of research […]
Surely there’s more to science than money? Economic determinism fails to capture science’s practical social benefit.
The benefits of the scientific enterprise can be difficult to pin-point directly. Rather than grapple with the complexity, many prefer to emphasise how science spending will lead to economic growth. Richard Jones looks back at motivations for science funding historically and finds that pure economic determinism so popular today is far from the only option. National defence and cultural value have […]
Digital humanities platforms set to challenge technical barriers to digital research skills development.
Digital humanists are becoming increasingly aware of the potential for much wider impact through ‘crowdscribing’ and other innovative approaches to digital research. Emma Goodwin provides further information on a new initiative DHCrowdscribe that allows early career researchers to gain from resources and expertise to support technical project development. This approach will also foster wider collaboration between the humanities and other more […]