"Thursday, 28 June 2012, 09.00 am - 17.30 pm, Exhibition-Newton Central Gallery, Conference-Newton LT3, LT37, LT33 and LT32, Welcome 9 am - 9.30 am in Newton Central Gallery, Nottingham Trent University, Nottingham, UK.
All University staff, students and guests are invited to come along to this exciting research conference and festival. The conference has a series of parallel sessions of papers organised round research groups, as well as an exhibition.
This year's innovations will include workshop sessions on the seven candidate REF impact case studies, as well as the involvement of the Future Factory. Video art, production engineering, sustainable consumption, C18 textiles, concrete, knitting - all these and more will be the origin of papers in this year's Art and Design and Built Environment College Research Conference and Festival. This rich collection of research has a common concern to understand and shape our relationship to the material world; physically, socially and philosophically."
(Nottingham Trent University)
"In recent years there has been mounting concern to understand the distribution, utility and influence of research findings in non-academic contexts. This concern originates in part from political imperatives to demonstrate public value, for research to move towards pragmatic considerations in wider public discourse, in cultural, industry and policy environments.
All UK Research Councils are expected to be able to demonstrate the wider impact and value of academic research. The important question that we must seek to address is: what is the contribution of arts and humanities research to society? Or, what is the impact or influence of arts and humanities research outside the academy?
The Arts and Humanities Research Council has commissioned a series of case studies to investigate the impact of arts and humanities research. Across the series as a whole, impact has been defined in its broadest sense to include economic, social and cultural elements. The case studies included in this publication focus on the social impact of two artist exhibitions, specifically concentrating on visitor responses and reactions.
Established in April 2005, the Arts and Humanities Research Council provides funding for a range of UK wide programmes, supporting the highest quality research and postgraduate training in the arts and humanities."
(Arts and Humanities Research Council UK)
2). Social Impact of Artist Exhibitions: Two Case Studies
"The four UK higher education funding bodies issued a second consultation on proposals for the Research Excellence Framework (REF), including proposals to assess the impact of research on the economy and society, and for citation information to be used by some panels to inform their review of research outputs."
(HEFCE, 2009, UK)
1). The Research Excellence Framework: A brief guide to the proposals' (Adobe PDF 124K).
"The proposals for a new approach to the assessment and funding of research - set out last year in the Higher Education Funding Council for England's consultation paper on the research excellence framework - have sparked more than a few rows.
Much of the conflict has revolved around whether or not the economic and social impact of research should feature in the regime that will replace the research assessment exercise. ...
Our starting point should be to remember that the RAE was deeply flawed. It was dominated by vested interests, was embarrassingly subjective and seriously undervalued those scholars who bridge the worlds of academe and practice.
The REF is, then, a major step forward from the RAE not least because it broadens the definition of research. To suggest, as the REF does, that research is 'a process of investigation leading to new insights effectively shared' invites all scholars to think afresh about how they communicate their research findings and to whom. ...
Yes, there are challenges in research impact assessment. New thinking, around, say, research 'possibilities' is needed. But once academics recognise that research findings should be 'shared', we have made a significant step forward. By definition we are now discussing research impact or, at least, potential research impact.
However, the intellectual argument relating to research impact, rather like the debate about the expansion of university public engagement activities, goes much deeper than a discussion of how scholars can improve the manner in which they communicate with different audiences - important as this is.
Rather it concerns a reshaping, for some disciplines at least, of the way scholarship is conceived. It heralds a move towards the notion of 'engaged scholarship'. Many UK academics - medics are a classic example - are already actively engaged with stakeholders outside the campus in the process of defining research questions and co-producing new knowledge.
This is not to suggest that all scholars should be 'engaged scholars' - indeed, that would be a bad thing. But the research impact debate can open up the possibility of broadening the definition of scholarship."
(Robin Hambleton, 4 February 2010, Times Higher Education)
"The Research Excellence Framework (REF) is the new system for assessing the quality of research in UK higher education institutions (HEIs). In previous years, research quality has been assessed periodically through the Research Assessment Exercise (RAE).
We are currently consulting on proposals for the new framework. We will issue guidance on the REF in 2010 after completing the consultation. The first REF exercise is due to be completed in 2013.
We are working in collaboration with the Scottish Funding Council, the Higher Education Funding Council for Wales, the Department for Employment and Learning (Northern Ireland), and with a wide range of stakeholders to develop the new framework. Representatives of the four funding councils sit on a steering group which oversees its development.
The REF will focus on three elements, which together reflect the key characteristics of research excellence. These are:
* Outputs: The primary focus of the REF will be to identify excellent research of all kinds. This will be assessed through a process of expert review, informed by citation information in subjects where robust data are available (for example, in medicine and science).
* Impact: Significant additional recognition will be given where researchers build on excellent research to deliver demonstrable benefits to the economy, society, public policy, culture and quality of life. Impacts will be assessed through a case-study approach that will be tested in a pilot exercise.
* Environment: The REF will take account of the quality of the research environment in supporting a continuing flow of excellent research and its effective dissemination and application."
(Higher Education Funding Council for England)