Evidencing Engaged Research

Dr Richard Holliman, Chair of the Review Panel

Dr Richard Holliman, Chair of the Review Panel

Call for seed-funded proposals to generate, collect and/or share evidence of the impact(s) from engaged research

Closing date for applications: 17.00 on 14th March 2014

Purpose of this call: To support active researchers in the generation and systematic collection of evidence of the impacts from engaged research, demonstrating effects, changes and/or mutual benefits to those participating.

Culture change
The Open University is committed to embedding public engagement within the culture of its research and the practices of researchers at all levels. Over three years (2012-2015), principally through the work of the RCUK-funded Public Engagement with Research Catalyst, ‘An open research university’ and the School-University Partnership Initiative, ‘Engaging Opportunities’, the university will develop and implement strategies that promote structured and equitable mechanisms for effective and sustainable engagement with a range of publics, stakeholders and user communities.
One of the key areas for development in relation to this wider project of culture change is the need to produce rigorous, systematic accounts of the impact of engaged research. This call contributes to this agenda.

Developing an engaged community of practice
Contributing to this call will enable richer conversations about the impacts of engaged research, involving a diverse range of publics, user communities and stakeholders. It will help to raise the profile of engaged approaches to OU research, generating critical mass in this strategically important area, providing a route for sharing knowledge and expertise in how we plan, enact and evaluate engaged research.

Engaging research workshop
The project team ran an engaging research workshop on 24th February 2014 in support of this call for seed funded projects. A copy of the slides from this workshop is available from the following link: Seed Funding Workshop

Representatives of the eight Public Engagement with Research Catalysts, alongside NCCPE staff

Defining engaged research
For the purposes of this call, we are using the following definition of engaged research:

Excellent public engagement with research is reflected in the different ways that researchers meaningfully connect and share research with various stakeholders, user communities and members of the public. Done well, public engagement with research will generate benefits, changes and effects for all participants as they share knowledge, expertise and skills. Excellence will be demonstrated partly through recognition of the contributions that all participants make to the shaping of research agendas, the processes of conducting research, and in the products of that research.

Suggestions for what could be funded under this scheme include (but are not limited to):

  • The generation and systematic collection of evidence of the impacts from engaged research, demonstrating effects, changes and/or mutual benefits to those participating.
  • Initiatives that contribute to positive change with respect to practices, policies or procedures for generating and systematically collecting evidence of engaged research impact.
  • Programmes that support researchers, publics, user communities and/or other stakeholders in developing, sharing and/or practising attributes, skills and competencies in generating and systematically collecting evidence of engaged research impact.
  • Activities that assess quality and promote critical reflection through effective evaluation of activities, programmes, resources, etc.
  • Activities that promote the active sharing of lessons garnered from evaluating the impacts from engaged research.
The team who organised and delivered the Science Matters School Lectures.

The team from the 'Science Matters' Programme of School Lectures. Back row, l-r: Janet Goss, Diane Ford, Andrew Norton, Janice Ansine, Simon Kelley and Tim Blackman. Front row, l-r: Frazer Bird, Clare Warren and Richard Holliman. Photo: Kate Bradshaw

Funds available: Awards will range from £250 – £4,000.

Only the strongest proposals will be awarded at the higher end, while lower cost, innovative proposals are encouraged. The justification of all resources is a requirement of proposals. Funding and support for projects will run from Spring 2014. The expected duration can be anything up to 10 months, but this is negotiable. (All funds must be spent by 28 February 2015.)

Making your application

Applications to this call are now open.

Application form


Assessment Criteria

NCCPE-produced Resource: Embedding Impact Analysis in Research

Completed forms should be submitted electronically to Fiona McKerlie in the Research, Scholarship and Quality Unit.

Closing date for applications: 14th March 2014 at 5pm.

Late applications will not be accepted. We will only accept applications that are made on the online form.

Dr Richard Holliman, Chair of the Review Panel.
Fiona McKerlie, Secretary to the Review Panel.

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