February 25, 2017

Assessing Research: The Researchers' View (2003) by Steven Wooding, Jonathan Grant

By Steven Wooding, Jonathan Grant

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The downside of an appeals system was recognised by two of these groups, who worried that the system could be overwhelmed by challenges. Transfer Fees (Mentioned in systems 6, 9, 15 & 24) Often young researchers spend their early career in one department or institution and then go on to achieve academic success once they have moved to another institution. To reward institutions that supported the UK research base by nurturing and developing new talent, it was suggested that better methods of rewarding the original nurturing institutions need to be incorporated into the system.

One group felt that the process of appointing international experts needed to be as transparent as the process for appointing UK panel members, and that if this could not be achieved then input from international experts should be scrapped altogether. Five groups mentioned that the role of the panel should extend beyond rating the quality of research outputs and include reviewing development plans. One of these groups felt that the panel should have a permanent developmental role in the subject area, entering into a dialogue with UoAs about strategy and development.

Although one group felt the RAE process was inevitably a zero sum game, other groups thought that data from a rigorous and credible assessment process could provide valuable data to increase government funding for research. There was also a feeling that an improved assessment system, with an increased credibility born out of transparency and rigorous process, could improve the international standing of UK research. The key aspects of a research assessment framework that the researchers hope would bring about these improvements in research culture are described in the executive summary at the start of the report.

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