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Impact Workshop (4): Models of Impact: Case Studies from the School of English, University of Leeds

Date & Time:

April 16, 2014 (Wed) | 1:00 - 2:00 p.m.


Room P6-03, Graduate House


Dr Matthew Boswell
Arts Engaged Fellow, Leeds Humanities Research Institute
University of Leeds


Following on from Dr Laura King's workshop on impact case studies from the School of History at the University of Leeds, her colleague Dr Matthew Boswell will reflect on case studies submitted to the Research Excellence Framework (REF) in 2014 by the School of English. Drawing on the work of Professor Stuart Murray and Dr Samuel Durrant, in particular, these case studies were developed out of research into the cultural representation of autism and the experience of trauma in the postcolonial world. Both can be seen to deliver public benefits for health and wellbeing: for example, through the way that Murray's research influenced the policy of the United Kingdom's National Health Service (NHS) and through an innovative model of bibliotherapy developed by Durrant, who worked with a local charity to create reading groups for local refugees and asylum seekers. Professor Murray's research also led to quite unexpected collaborations, most notably with a local opera company, Opera North, who commissioned a new piece of work based on Murray’s research.

In this workshop Dr Boswell will describe how these case studies were documented in this most recent REF exercise before going on to describe the approach taken by the School of English to the development of new and existing areas of impact for potential inclusion in future rounds of the REF.

About the Speaker:

Dr Boswell is a member of the Arts Engaged at the University of Leeds, a project designed to realise impact and innovation in the arts. He was a key respondent on an AHRC-funded project entitled "Testimony" (2009-2011), with research interest in "hybrid testimony" (which involves collaboration between victims and professional writers), perpetrator representation, heritage cinema and transnational memories of the Holocaust. He also discussed provocative responses to the Holocaust across a variety of media, including literature, film, documentary, comedy, the graphic novel, and punk and post-punk music.

Background on the Workshops:

Impact is a key element of the University's knowledge exchange (KE) strategy. Since 2012/13, the University Grants Committee (UGC) requires each UGC-funded institution to submit up to 5 impact case studies that are underpinned by excellent research as part of the knowledge transfer/KE annual report each year. The prescribed format follows the impact case study template of the UK's Research Excellence Framework (REF) 2014.

It is also important to note that in the Panel-Specific Assessment Criteria for the UGC RAE 2014, all the Panels included under the "Esteem" measure some elements relating to KE/technology transfer. This suggests that the next Hong Kong RAE will likely require evidence of impact and the UK experience indicates that now is the time to start collecting evidence of such impacts.

The Knowledge Exchange Office is organising workshops to be conducted by researchers from the University of Leeds who have hands-on experience in preparing impact statements and impact case studies for the UK's Research Excellence Framework (REF) 2014. The workshops will be of interest not only to colleagues who want to maximise the impact of their research, but also to those who co-ordinate research developments and research assessment in Faculties.

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