RDP Webinar ‘Impact and Public Engagement in the Arts’ with Charlotte Medland -11th Oct 1.00pm

This webinar will look at public engagement and how to measure impact in arts research. The session will give you an opportunity to consider impact and engagement in your research and what to consider at the start of each project.webinars

Charlotte Medland is the Impact and Evaluation Officer for the Humanities Division at Oxford University and has worked previously on the evaluation of public engagement projects at the University of Southampton.

Interested? – email roffice@ucreative.ac.uk and we will send you your link to join this webinar.
All you need is a computer (or mobile phone) with headphones.

RDP Webinar – 11th October 1.00pm ‘Impact and Public Engagement in the Arts’ with Charlotte Medland

Other forthcoming RDP Webinars can be seen at UCA Research Development  along with links to the recordings of past webinars

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REF 2021 at UCA – Webinar 27th September 1.00pm

Initial decisions on REF 2021

Starting the process – The UCA REF Audit
With Nino Nizharadze
Wednesday 27th September at 1.00pm

Following an independent review of the Research Excellence Framework (REF) the funding bodies have published initial decisions on several high-level aspects of the exercise.
These decisions include: outcomes and weightings, output assessment, UoA structure, interdisciplinary research, collaboration, assessment of impact and environment at the Unit of Assessment (UoA) level,
definition of impact, and the REF development timetable.

The webinar will provide a summary of the initial decisions on REF 2021 and discuss possible implications for UCA.

Interested? – email roffice@ucreative.ac.uk  and we will send you your link to join this webinar. All you need is a computer (or mobile phone) with headphones.

Update: Staff Submission and Output Portability

As mentioned in the previous post, HEFCE published their initial decisions on a number of aspects of REF 2021. Long awaited decisions on staff submission (including minimum and maximum number of outputs) and output portability are due to come out in autumn, following a consultation (a second one) with HEIs.

HEFCE has invited institutions to submit their views on the proposed approaches related to the above aspects (deadline 29 September). These approaches can be found here.

HEFCE’s proposed development timetable for REF 2021

Autumn 2017 Invite nominations for panel members

 

Further decisions on the arrangements for submitting staff and outputs

 

Winter 2017-18 Appoint panels
Spring 2018 Panels meet to develop criteria
Summer to Autumn 2018 Publish draft guidance, and consultation on panel criteria

 

Winter 2018-19 Publish final guidance and criteria

 

2019 Complete preparation of submission systems
2020 Submission phase
2021 Assessment phase

 

 

 

 

Initial decisions on REF 2021: summary points

 

On 1 September HEFCE published their initial decisions on some high-level aspects of REF 2021. Here’s the summary of the decisions:

Assessment and Scoring 

  • As in REF 2014, REF 2021 will assess the following:
    • outputs – 60% (down from 65%)
    • impact– 25% (up from 20%)
    • environment – 15%
  • The five point scale from unclassified to 4* (world leading) remains the same

Outputs

  • There will be strong support for interdisciplinary research: each sub panel will have at least one appointed member to oversee assessment of  interdisciplinary research (also see environment section below)
  • A Reserve output may be submitted when a publication does not appear in time for the REF submission deadline

Environment

The environment template will be expanded and restructured to include:

  • More quantitative data (details tbc in further guidance)
  • Data on research income, income in kind and research degrees awarded (as in REF 2014)
  • Information on enabling impact
  • Information on supporting collaboration beyond HE
  • Information on structures to support interdisciplinarity
  • Unit’s approach to Open Access/open research
  • Impact template (in REF 2014 this was a standalone template)
  • Support for equality and diversity
  • Institutional level information

A standalone institutional level environment statement will not be included in REF 2021 as recommended by the Stern Review.

Impact

  • Definitions of ‘academic impact’ and ‘wider impact’ will be aligned with the Research Councils’ definitions (both are part of the dual support system)
  • Further guidance will be provided around: ‘reach and significance’ of impact; impact arising from public engagement; impact on teaching, to include impact within, as well as beyond, the submitting institution.
  • Impact must be underpinned by  ‘excellent’ research of at least 2* quality and be produced between 01/01/2000 and 31/12/2020. The impact claimed in the case studies must take place between 01/08/2013 and 31/07/2020
  • The impact case study template will be expanded to include more questions and a section on additional contextual data
  • Cases studies will require “routine provision of audit evidence”, but this will remain confidential and not be given to the panel
  • The number of case studies required is still to be decided. It will possibly be linked to the number of outputs
  • Continuation of case studies from 2014 is allowed, but impact must take place during the REF 2021 assessment period (please see 2nd bullet above)

Please click here to view Initial Decisions on REF 2021 full document.

Initial decisions on REF 2021

Latest news on REF 2021

  • outputs – 60 per cent
  • impact – 25 per cent
  • environment – 15 per cent

Read full details on the initial decisions here:

http://www.hefce.ac.uk/pubs/year/2017/CL,332017/

 

 

Writing 300 word statements part 2: looking for examples and writing a draft

The REF2014 website makes public all the research outputs that were submitted for the last REF, including the 300 word statements. On the website: http://results.ref.ac.uk/, click on ‘results and submissions’; you can then select a particular institution, or a Unit of Assessment (UCA submitted solely to UOA34, Art and Design: History, Theory and Practice in REF2014, and is likely to do so again). There are several routes in: you are looking for ‘Research Outputs’ (REF2). Clicking on an individual output brings up exactly what was submitted into the REF form, including the 300 word statement, which is under the ‘Additional Information’ heading.

It’s worth exploring some examples. Unfortunately, we don’t know which outputs received a high ranking, being judged to be 4* (world leading) or 3* (internationally excellent). The REF only publishes its results as a quality profile of all the outputs submitted by a single institution to a single UOA. However, looking at a really successful submission, where almost all of the outputs were judged to be 4* or 3*, will bring up statements for outputs that are very likely to have been highly ranked. An example is the University of Westminster’ submission to UOA34, where 85 per cent of outputs were ranked at 3* or 4*, and nothing fell below 2*.

Find some examples and note how the research is described: how directly does the statement address the criteria of originality, significance and rigour? What evidence does it give? Find examples in your discipline that do a good job of describing the research against the criteria.

The following questions should be useful in drafting 300 word statements:

Originality

What were the contexts to the research? What had other people done before? What did you do that was different? (think in terms of a literature review, contextual review, or scoping exercises)

Significance

So what? What has changed in your field (however narrowly defined) as a result of this research? (new knowledge, contribution)

Rigour

What were the research questions? What were your aims? What processes did you follow? What were the theoretical frameworks? (methods, sources, procedures)

Don’t waste words describing the research: for non-text outputs, for instance exhibitions, there is another box for this (‘title and brief description’), where you can explain exactly what form the research took. If this applies to your output, draft this text too (provisionally up to 100 words).

Writing 300 word statements part 1: what are they and why are they needed?

For REF2014, individual research outputs were assessed on the basis of three types of evidence:

  • the output itself
  • a supporting portfolio
  • information about the research process and/or context

For the last of these, universities were able to submit 300 word statements. Although these were not compulsory, almost all submissions of research outputs included such statements, using the 300 words to explain succinctly how the output met the criteria against which REF outputs are judged: originality, significance and rigour.

The 300 word statements were particularly importantly for practice-based research. It’s arguable that a written output (eg a book, chapter or journal article) should already contain a clear and concise explanation of its originality, significance and rigour—although there is nothing to be lost by summarising this in a short additional statement. However, for practice-based research, the 300 words statement is essential to set out the basis and merits of the research.

This is how the REF defines each of the criteria used for judging outputs:

Originality

A creative/intellectual advance that makes an important and innovative contribution to understanding and knowledge. This may include:

  • substantive empirical findings
  • new arguments, interpretations or insights
  • imaginative scope
  • assembling of information in an innovative way
  • development of new theoretical frameworks and conceptual models
  • innovative methodologies and/or new forms of expression

Significance

The enhancement of,

  • knowledge
  • thinking
  • understanding
  • and/or practice

Rigour

  • intellectual coherence
  • methodological precision and analytical power
  • accuracy and depth of scholarship
  • awareness of and appropriate engagement with other relevant work

There has been no indication that these criteria will be revised for REF2021, or that the facility to submit 300 word statements will change. As part of preparations for REF2021, we need to start generating 300 word statements for all individual research outputs that are likely to be submitted.

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