JISC Impact Analysis: Facilitation and Synthesis Project

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JISC is funding an opportunity for researcher groups to develop their capability to analyse and articulate the impact and benefits of their work, by working in partnership with FE and HE staff who have expertise in impact analysis. The objective is to stimulate the cross-pollination of existing expertise and technology to enhance capacity in the impact analysis of research across the sector.

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1. Interfacing Research and Impact Systems (IRIS)

Lead institution: Exeter University

Project Lead: Sarah Ward

Project partners/ collaborators: Plymouth University; Manchester Beacon; The Silvanus Trust; Severn Trent Water

The project aims to identify existing impact indicators, potential new ones and develop these indicators into a formal toolset; exploring the possibility of integrating these within a technology interface. The project centres on identifying knowledge gaps and then undertaking activities to close those gaps.  It will develop a process toolset for identifying, analysing and articulating the impact and benefits of research (i.e. formalising the process of how people ‘search’ for research/impact).

2. DIEGO – Disseminating Impact form Engagement with User Groups and Organisations

Lead institution: De Montfort University

Project Lead: Jennie Flemming

Project Manager: Elizabeth Lunt Project Partners: Sarah Morton, University of Edinburgh

The project links Researchers and Information Management Expertise from De Montfort University with an Impact Analyst at the University of Edinburgh to develop a case study looking at the analysis of the impact of participatory research in the area of Social Action. It will apply previously developed impact approaches from the Impact Analyst to analyse and evaluate the impact of the research.  The project includes the development of a DSpace Impact Repository and project blog to support the analysis and case study development.

This case study will be based within Social Action research, looking specifically at the impact of participatory research.  The key focus of the study will be on analysis of the impact of the uses, refinement and dissemination of participatory approaches in which the Researchers very experienced.  The aim is to develop a systematic and targeted approach to understanding the impact of this research within, for example, community groups and networks. This will enable a better understanding of the impact and naturally enhance the capacity to make an impact in the future. The impact analyst and researchers will work to apply approaches and processes previously developed by the analyst to collate, evaluate and understand the impact of participatory research.  The information management expertise will provide support for this process through the impact repository which will collate the information found and a blog or wiki to enable the discussion and analysis of the impact.  The relevance of the outputs of the MICE project will also be considered, specifically for use with a DSpace repository as will be set up here.

3. Embedding Impact Analysis: Learning From Law

Lead Institution: Oxford Brookes University

Project Lead: Emily Brown

Project partners/collaborators: Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, Research and Business Development Office, Directorate of Learning Resources, Ursula Kelly  

The project aims to develop cost effective, manageable structures to ensure the tracking and recording of impact related information post REF 2014, drawing as much as possible on existing systems (e.g. RCUK collecting system).  The project is located within the School of Law which delivers a wide variety of academic work over UK, EU and International law, involving differing methodologies from doctrinal, philosophical and socio-legal and hence provides the a particularly suitable context for the pilot.  We aim to maximise the benefits of the pilot by disseminating findings to inform procedures, systems and the work and practices of researchers across Brookes and beyond working in other disciplines.

4. Accessing Participatory Research Impact and Legacy

Lead institution: Northumbria University

Project Lead: Tina Cook

Project partners/collaborators:  Emma Barron, Knowledge Transfer Manager, Jonathan Boote, Research Fellow, University of Sheffield, Nicola Buckley, Head of Public Engagement, University of Cambridge, Chris Turnock, Head of  LTech IT Services, Northumbria University, Sonia Vougioukalou, Department of Primary Care and Public Health Sciences, King’s College, Michael Wright, Institute for Social Health, Catholic University of Applied Sciences

Focusing primarily on Participatory Research (PR) in health this project brings people with expertise in participatory, inclusive and action research, community engagement and impact analysis together with technology designers to develop an open, online, interactive CERIF knowledgebase.

The purpose of the knowledgebase is to:

  • bring together published sources on the background, participatory dimension, and impact of PR, making these available to communities of practice
  • provide a means of synthesising knowledge and impact from various sources in relation to participatory dimensions
  • capture outputs and impacts of PR using research and BCE reference points
  • develop dimensions for describing PR through diverse stakeholder engagement
  • provide an ongoing space for the collection of resources and the shared development of understanding through the process of public categorisation for collection purposes

5. Tracking Digital Impact (TDI)

Lead institution: Exeter University

Project Lead: Ed Keedwell

Project Manager: Kent McClymont

Project partners/collaborators: Elizabeth Tait (Researcher, Aberdeen University); Rowena Passy (Researcher, Plymouth University); Elizabeth Brock (Researcher, University of Exeter) Sue Waite (Researcher & BCE Practitioner, Plymouth University); Erinma Ochu (BCE Practitioner, Manchester Beacon Network); Sarah Ward (Researcher, University of Exeter); Andy Phippen (Researcher / BCE Practitioner, Plymouth University); Matt Baker (Research Knowledge Transfer, University of Exeter); Pat Loria (ICT Specialist, University of Southern Queensland).

The project brings together researchers and BCE practitioners who develop and interact with digital resources and digital events for disseminating research as a pathway to impact. The project will explore the types of digital engagement that are currently in use and how they are monitored. A model of these engagement practices will be developed and used as a basis. Following this, a set of standards for monitoring and assessing the impact of digital engagement will be created using case studies from different institutions and organisations. The standards will be designed to guide the use of existing and freely available tools such as Google Analytics to improve the impact assessment processes for digital engagement.

6. PERO: Public Engagement with Research Online

Lead institution: University of Warwick

Project Lead: Eric Jensen 

Project Manager: Monae Verbeke 

Project partners/collaborators: Trevor Collins, Open University; Nicola Buckley, Cambridge University; David Ritchie, Portland State University; Andrew Oswald, Warwick University; Sascha Becker, Warwick University; Sophie Staniszewska, Warwick University

Researchers are increasingly engaging with publics online. Yet effective approaches for capturing and analysing impacts of public engagement through this medium are not fully developed. This project will develop a framework and example case study for analysing the reach and significance of online public engagement with research, incorporating assessments of opportunities for involving public perspectives in research as part of long-term impact generation.

The case study will include quantitative and qualitative analysis using web-based public discussion and responses to research, framed within a theoretically and methodologically robust framework for articulating such impacts. The possibilities for deploying an integrated web-based solution for automatically capturing, analysing and generating reports on the reach and significance of particular researchers’ engagement using existing tools will also be considered as part of this process.

Specifically, we will evaluate the options for connecting existing web crawler / screen scraper technology with linguistic corpus analysis software and website analytics software (e.g. Google Analytics) to leverage the relative strengths of these existing technologies for the new purpose of online impact analysis.

7. Embedding Research Impact at Coventry (ERIC)

Lead institution: Coventry University

Project Manager: Dr Lorna Everall

Project Team: Prof. Louise Wallace, Dr Julie Bayley, Suzanne Hilton, Dr Lorna Everall, Julia Ryall, Iain Wallace, Pam Shoker-Texeira

Whilst Coventry University have been commended for their strategic approach to applied research collaboration, the long term impact that these collaborative projects have is severely undervalued. This project will address this challenge and support an established multi-disciplinary research team to systematically analyse and articulate their existing applied research portfolio. The project will focus on the role of effective process and technology in identifying impact, by reviewing existing research information systems processes within Coventry University to incorporate impact analysis and make recommendations about how existing,  but currently  independent, research management systems might operate together to manage research impact.

The project will:

  • Carry out a needs analysis of relevant stakeholders, including external organisations, to determine the potential use of impact data and support the development of a requirement specification for the impact data capture. 
  • Develop a set of defined research outputs for a range of academic disciplines, building on baseline requirements for project funding through schemes whilst ensuring that ‘softer’ impact measures are captured.
  • Review and refine the existing process flow for applied research project information in BIDS to include provision for identifying and capturing information on research impact.
  • Create an appropriate impact data repository, investigating the other existing information management systems to ensuring alignment and remove any need for the duplication of information.
  • Pilot the refined project process by capturing impact information from the research portfolio of one multi-disciplinary research team and testing the created data repository.
  • Disseminate the outcomes of the project within the sector to help share best practice on output and impact requirements.

8. The Impact of Schools Stand up to Racism – Analysis and Articulation

Lead institution: Manchester Metropolitan University

Project Manager: Sue Baines

Project Team: Prof. Lynn Martin, Dr Valerie Antcliff, Dr Tamara McNeal Centre for Enterprise, Manchester Metropolitan University;  Dr Geraldine Lee-Treweek,Department of Inter Disciplinary Studies, Manchester Metropolitan University; Dr Rebecca Lawthom, Department of Psychology, Research Institute for Health and Social Change, Manchester Metropolitan University;  Mandy Roberts, Cheshire Halton and Warrington Race and Equality Centre

This project will use a case study to identify and disseminate good practice in increasing the capability of research groups to work with BCE specialists. In particular the project will examine and evaluate routes to enhancing impact for research with civil society organisations.  Working across organisational and disciplinary boundaries with different cultures, it will examine and evaluate how we might identify good practice in embedding BCE and impact analysis in the research process.   Learning will be shared with the wider academic community across the North West of England and nationally using the BCE expertise embedded within the project.

The project is centred around the study Schools Stand Up 2 Racism (SSU2R), a Big Lottery funded, three year research project undertaken by the Department for Interdisciplinary studies at  MMU Cheshire  in partnership with Cheshire, Halton and Warrington Race and Equality Centre (CHAWREC). SSU2R aims to help secondary schools improve their knowledge of the levels of racism experienced by pupils, to enable schools to adopt new ways of tackling racism and to increase teachers’ confidence in dealing with racist incidents. It involves community volunteers as well and researchers based in the university and the partner organisation. SSU2R employs mixed methods including surveys, interviews, focus groups in schools, and ‘ethno drama’. The project team will utilise selected JISC impact tools and apply them to activities undertaken within SSU2R.  This case study offers the opportunity to explore innovative ways of identifying, capturing and analysing impact during the course of an on-going research project dealing with a subject that is complex and politically sensitive.

9. Emphasising research impacts

Lead institution: Newcastle University

Project Manager: Richy Heatherington

Project Team: Ms Alison Chalmers; Prof Barry Hirst; Ms Joanna Chamberlin; Mr Simon Cotterill; Miss Kate Hudson

Newcastle University’s Faculty of Medical Sciences has a broad research profile with many examples of research that has engagement with the public and patient groups. There are also many good examples of engagement with the business community. The knowledge and information about engagement activity is distributed is across many research groups within the faculty. This project aims to collect together leading examples of good practice in engagement. The creation of a database of these examples of good practice will allow for an analysis of the benefits and impacts of Engagement activity. This analysis will not only be a consideration of the positive impacts of research but include reflection on researcher development through their participation. We hope that dissemination of good practice in research with engagement will encourage more researchers to see the positive value of such activity.

This project aims therefore to identify good practice in engagement, to develop tools for researchers to use enabling them to share good practice in engagement and to provide an accessible outlet for case studies of this good practice. The analysis of the engagement activity will include an assessment of how researchers are supported through and benefit from these activities.  Case studies will be disseminated to researchers with a mechanism to report their own engagement activity.


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