Wednesday, 3 April 2019

At Home with Phil Baty

Chair Number 4
(Photo by Ryan Riggins on Unsplash)
Early evening in the Baty household. Phil is busy rooting through the kitchen cupboards. Mrs Baty comes in. 

Mrs Baty: Phil, what are you doing? And why are all these tins of soup all over the floor?
Phil: I'm ranking.
Mrs Baty: I beg your pardon?
Phil: I'm ranking. With an R. It was complete chaos in the soup cupboard. I couldn't tell which was the most popular soup flavour. I've done a serious, robust qualitative study of all respondents (n=1), and I'm delighted to announce the winner of the inaugural Times Higher Soup Rankings. Cream of Tomato is at number 1 with 100% of the allocated soup points.

Thursday, 28 March 2019

Research England Launches 'Old MacDonald' Funding Suite

On the farm: E-I--E-I-O
(Photo by Stijn te Strake on Unsplash)
Regular readers will know that there's a special place in our hearts for funders and policymakers who use random letters of the alphabet to name their initiatives. The European Commission are past masters at this, realigning all of their thematic directorates to the letter P in February, and launching a '3 Os' agenda in 2016.

Not to be outdone, the newly-flush Research England is making great headway in getting on this bandwagon being a leader in this field. Keen eyed applicants may have noticed that their two most recent schemes, Expanding Excellence in England (E3) and International Investment Initiative (i3), are a bold and brave attempt to shoehorn a vaguely descriptive title into a single vowel.