Wednesday, 5 October 2011

REF: a Few Thoughts on Drafting Impact Case Studies

I took part in an interesting workshop on REF impact case studies yesterday. We were looking at some initial drafts and, whilst there were some great ideas about possible impact, there were a few key points to bear in mind when thinking about your case study.
  • There has to be a strong link between the impact and the research upon which it is based. It's not enough to be working generally in that area; you need to highlight the project, and the findings of the project, and make clear how these led on to the resultant impact.
  • The research has to have been undertaken whilst you were at the University. It's fine if it began elsewhere, but at least part of it has to have happened after you arrived at Kent;
  • It helps to have quantifiable indicators of impact. Whilst HEFCE define impact very broadly (note their definition in the checklist here), it will help you to objectively demonstrate your impact if you are able to show some figures to back up your claims.
  • The impact has to have happened already. Unlike RCUK's understanding of impact, HEFCE's is backward looking. It's past, not potential. You have to be describing impact that has already been felt.
  • It is better to write in the third person. This adds to the sense of an objective, impersonal analysis of the impact (as does having quantifiables, see above), which will help give your case study substance and credibility.
If you're working on your case study, do have a look at the checklist that my colleague Clair Thrower has prepared. If you would like some feedback on your draft, do get in touch with her directly.

No comments:

Post a Comment