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Impact Workshop (2): Understanding the Emerging Research and Impact Landscape

Date & Time:

December 4, 2013 (Wed) | 1:00 - 2:00 p.m.


Room P6-03, Graduate House


Dr Lorraine Blakemore
Arts Engaged Research Fellow, Leeds Humanities Research Institute
University of Leeds


For the purpose of the UK Research Excellence Framework (REF) 2014, Impact is defined as: 'An effect on, change or benefit to the economy, society, culture, public policy or services, health, the environment or quality of life, beyond academia'. Through initiatives at the University of Leeds such as Arts Engaged, the aim is to play a leading role in the development of the theory and practice around the evolving impact agenda and to explore ways of working that put collaboration and innovation at the heart of everything we do. In seeking to become a focus for strategic thinking and methodologies for embedding impact in all stages of the research process, we will ensure arts and humanities disciplines are properly represented within debates about impact and the social role of universities more broadly.

The workshop will introduce two successful research projects within the Faculty of Arts at Leeds: "Dante and Late Medieval Florence: Theology in Poetry, Practice and Society" and "Ottoman Pasts, Present Cities: Cosmopolitanism and Transcultural Memories", examining what makes them such creative and innovative examples. In the first half of the workshop, the speaker will assess both the Impact Summary and Pathways to Impact statement of the Dante project, highlighting particular strategies employed by the academic team. The second half of the workshop will involve close examination of "Ottoman Pasts, Present Cities" and consider how the research could be said to present a model case study for impact. Taken together, these two key examples enable detailed and nuanced understanding of the emerging research and impact landscape.

About the Speaker:

Dr Lorraine Blakemore is Arts Engaged Fellow in Government and Public Policy at the University of Leeds and a member of the Centre for World Cinemas in the School of Modern Languages and Cultures. She has a professional background in the heritage and cultural sectors, working for organisations such as The National Archives with roles encompassing oral history, community archives and museum outreach. Dr Blakemore's PhD (Queen Mary, University of London) was awarded as part of the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC)-funded 'The British Film Institute, the Government and the Film Culture 1933-2000' and her current research is on cultural value and on a comparative exploration of film policy, cultural diplomacy and soft power.

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. 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 as well as those who might be interested in being nominated for Faculty KE Awards because impact is a selection criterion.

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