As a PhD candidate at a UK institution, it has been difficult lately not to notice the attention being paid to the looming Research Excellence Framework (or REF) cycle, which is due to be completed in 2014. To briefly explain for those readers who are unfamiliar with this: the REF is a system employed in the UK to quantify and assess the quality of research output by academics in Higher Education (HE) institutions. One important pillar of this exercise pertains to the level of ‘impact’ that can be gauged from the research submitted by a given institution. While this notion of ‘impact’ is taken in quite a broad sense, the REF does outline that research ‘impact’ concerning beneficiaries such as individuals and communities etc. should show, among other things, that ‘public understanding has improved; public debate has been … Continue reading →
Interesting overview of REFs and some pointers to discussions of researchers' responsibility to the speech communities they engage with
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