Measuring research impact and engagement is a hot topic in the UK and internationally. This book is the first to provide a critical review of the research impact agenda, situating it within international efforts to improve research utilisation. Using empirical data, it discusses research impact tools and processes for key groups such as academics, research funders, ‘knowledge brokers’ and research users, and considers the challenges and consequences of incentivising and rewarding particular articulations of research impact.
Ideally timed for the next REF in 2021, it draws on wide ranging qualitative data, combined with theories about the science-policy interplay and audit regimes to suggest ways to improve research impact.
Katherine Smith is a Professor of Public Health Policy at the University of Strathclyde and an Honorary Professor at the University of Edinburgh, where she is an active member of SKAPE (the Centre for Science, Knowledge and Policy at Edinburgh). Previously she held posts at the universities of Edinburgh, Bath and Durham. Kat has published extensively on the interplay between academia and policy, health policy analysis and interest group efforts to influence national and international policies. Kat was trained in Geography but has subsequently worked largely in Public Health and Social Policy academic settings.
Justyna Bandola-Gill is a Research Fellow at the University of Edinburgh, with an interdisciplinary background that involves training in Science and Technology Studies, Political Science and Public Policy. Her research explores the interactions between science and policy, especially the ways in which knowledge is organised, governed and mobilised across different settings in order to achieve political goals. Currently, Justyna is working on an ERC-funded project exploring the global rise of a metrological field (METRO: metro-project.eu), where her research explores the production and governance of childhood poverty indicators by International Organisations.
Nasar Meer is Professor of Race, Identity and Citizenship in the School of Social and Political Sciences at the University of Edinburgh. His publications include: Islam and Modernity (ed, 2017); Interculturalism and multiculturalism: Debating the dividing lines (co-ed, 2016); Citizenship, Identity and the Politics of Multiculturalism (2015, 2nd Edition); Racialization and religion (ed, 2014), Race and Ethnicity (2014) and European Multiculturalism(s) (co-edited, 2012). In 2016 he was awarded the Royal Society of Edinburgh (RSE) Thomas Reid Medal for excellence in the social sciences, and in 2017 he was elected as a Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences. He holds a Personal Research Fellowship with the Royal Society of Edinburgh (RSE) to study race equality in Scotland, and is Principal Investigator of The Governance and Local Integration Migrants and Europe’s Refugees (GLIMER) (ESRC and Horizon2020: 2017-2020).
Ellen Stewart is Chancellor's Fellow in the Usher Institute of Population Health Sciences and Informatics at the University of Edinburgh. She is a social scientist working at the intersection of medical sociology, health policy and public administration. Ellen is particularly interested in studying how health policy decisions accommodate and negotiate different forms of ‘lay’ and ‘expert’ knowledge, including demands for public engagement and for evidence-based policy. Ellen has previously worked on projects exploring everyday practices of public involvement in the local NHS, new governance arrangements for Scottish Health Boards, and how health policymakers use research evidence and advocacy.
Richard Watermeyer is a sociologist of higher education: policy, practice and pedagogy. He is by training and orientation a sociologist of education with interests in higher education policy, practice and pedagogy. His work is primarily concerned with changing contextualizations of higher education, particularly as relate to technologies of governance, and their effect on the work and identities of academics. He has published over 80 journal articles, books, book chapters, commissioned reports and articles predominantly on issues of scientific governance. His latest book, Competitive Accountability in Academic Life (2019) considers the deleterious effects of systematic manipulation of research governance technologies by academics and their institutions. Richard is Reader in Education at the University of Bath and has held previous appointments at the universities of Warwick, Surrey and Cardiff.
Introduction: Critical Reflections on Research Impact
The Rise of 'Research Impact'
Debating the UK 'Impact Agenda'
Do Experiences and Perceptions of Research Impact Vary by Discipline?
Impact on Whom? Contrasting Research Impact With Public Engagement
Public Intellectualism and the Impact Agenda: International Perspectives
Academic Life at the “Impact” Vanguard: The View From Knowledge Exchange Organisations
Looking Back: Evolving Public Health Perspectives on Research Impact
Telling Tales of Impact: As Seen Through the Eyes of Users
Conclusion: What Would an Evidence-Informed Impact Agenda Involve?