Economic and Social Research Council – understanding funders’ expectations and pathways to impact
The Economic and Social Research Council is the UK’s largest organisation for funding research on economic and social issues. ESRC supports independent, high-quality research which has an impact on business, the public sector and civil society. With a total (2017-18) budget of £202 million, ESRC supports over 4,000 researchers and postgraduate students in academic institutions and independent research institutes.
Whilst a UK based funder, ESRC is committed to extending the benefits of research internationally. ESRC invests heavily in knowledge exchange, public engagement and the impact agenda more broadly. In this session, ESRC will provide delegates with direct insights into impact from a funder perspective, and support delegates to support impact planning and realisation.
Research management challenges with Non-Governmental Organisation partnerships in the Implementation of community-based research findings
Research management challenges are intertwined with community engaged research as a core element of Universities’ missions which contributes towards community development initiatives. Managing stakeholder partnerships are crucial for success. The aim was to analyse how Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) as multiple-stakeholders of an inclusive intermediary platform can contribute to community development through the use of research findings and secondly, what were the research management challenges to deal with?
This paper poses the Quintuple Helix as theoretical framework which incorporates the values, principles and practices of an engaged University with the emphasis on inclusivity.
An exploratory qualitative mixed method design was used. The researchers had used focus group discussions, augmented by an open ended questionnaire involving nineteen participants from nine different NGOs. Some of the results were:
NGOs and the researchers were operating in silos. NGOs never thought that a partnership would be possible to enhance both scholarship practices and community development projects.
NGOs saw themselves as ideal links between the researchers and the communities.
The recommendation is that Universities should take the initiative to establish a multiple-stakeholder inclusive intermediary platform to facilitate community development initiatives based on the use of research findings conducted by its own researchers.
Next steps for the UK Knowledge Exchange Framework
In November 2017, the UK Universities Minister Jo Johnson commissioned HEFCE (Research England as part of UKRI from April 2018) to implement a Knowledge Exchange Framework (KEF) to sit alongside the REF and TEF exercises.
The essence of this task is to make fair comparisons between higher education institutions on their performance in knowledge exchange, particularly focused on the delivery of the UK’s Industrial Strategy.
We will update on the latest progress of the work as we move towards implementation in Autumn 2018. Key issues that we will cover include:
– Given the diversity of knowledge exchange activities and types of institution, how will we ensure the KEF allows fair comparisons?
– What could data from external sources (such as businesses, or patenting data) tell us about University impact?
– How will the KEF relate to REF impact case studies?
– How might the KEF inform future funding allocations from the £250m per year Higher Education Innovation Fund?
|Time||15:45 - 17:00|
|Date||Tuesday 5th June, 2018|
|Theme||Research Impact & Research Engagement|
Melanie Knetsch - Strategic Lead for Innovation and Interdisciplinarity, ESRC
Prof Gideon De Wet - Deputy Vice-Chancellor, University Of Zululand, South Africa
Hamish Mcalpine - Senior Policy Adviser for Knowledge Exchange at HEFCE