Colleague Steve Fuller describes our philosophy of impact project in a recent publication: Value for Money in Academic Research: the Role of Impact.
In this article , I write as the UK partner of an exploratory project funded by the US National Science Foundation to critically evaluate current approaches to the broader ‘impacts’ of research. Our aim is to develop an agenda for understanding both the ‘how’ and ‘how much’ of the impact that humanistic, scientific and technical research has on societal well-being. By the time of our capstone Washington workshop in February 2016, we should be able to address systematically the bottom-line question of all research funding policy: What counts as ‘value for money’?
In this context, the UK is seen as the world’s laboratory for testing alternative approaches to research policy, most notably through iterations of what is now called the ‘Research Excellence Framework’.