Engagement and Impact assessment
17 February 2017
Sarah Howard

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National Innovation and Science Agenda

  • National Innovation and Science Agenda (NISA)—7 December 2015: $1.1 billion over 4 years
  • A range of new initiatives to support research, encourage innovation and entrepreneurship, reward risk taking, and promote science, maths and computing in schools

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 Engagement and Impact assessment

For 2018

  • all 42 Australian universities (defined by the HESA 2003) will be eligible to participate
  • all research disciplines will be involved
  • the methodology will not advantage one discipline over another
  • evaluations will be conducted by committees of experts from the university sector and industry

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Development

  • Assessment is being developed by ARC and Department of Education and Training as a companion to ERA
  • The methodology is being developed with extensive consultation with the university sector, industry and other research end-users
  • Steering Committee—which includes higher education and industry leaders—overseeing the development of the framework for the assessment. Committee supported by two working groups:
    • Technical Working Group provides expert advice on the development of indicators that will support the engagement and impact assessment 
    • Performance and Incentives Working Group provides advice to the ARC about the potential incentive effects of the preferred model

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Consultation

  • Two formal consultations have been undertaken:
    • Engagement and Impact Assessment Consultation Paper, public consultation, 2 May–24 June 2016
    • End-user survey, 2 May–1 June 2016, industry and other end-users or beneficiaries of university research were surveyed
  • A series of face-to-face meetings between the ARC CEO and industry leaders

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Timeline

  • Methodology being developed in 2016, including extensive sector consultation
  • Framework and guidelines to be developed for 2017
  • Pilot assessments in mid 2017
  • Full assessment in 2018 as a companion to ERA
  • Nominations for 2018 open Feb/Mar 2017

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ERA/EI

  • ERA and EI will run as companion exercises
  • ERA will continue to assess research quality
  • ERA acknowledges and encourages ‘blue sky’ research
  • Engagement and impact assessment will consider:
    • research interactions with industry, Government, non-governmental organisations, communities and community organisations, and 
    • research contributions to economy, society and environment

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Engagement and Impact Assessment Pilot 

Development is in progress:

  • It will run mid 2017
  • Two separate pilot studies - engagement and impact
  • All Australian Universities are eligible to participate – participation is voluntary
  • 40 Australian universities (defined by the HESA 2003) are participating in the pilot
  • evaluations will be conducted by committees of experts from the university sector and industry/end users of research

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Pilot assessment framework

Unit of Assessment

Engagement

Impact

Matrix of Metrics/

Indicators

Narrative

 

Impact Study

 

Rating for Engagement

Rating for Impact

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Pilot assessment framework

Engagement

Impact

GROUP A

03 Chemical Sciences

11 Medical and Health Sciences

GROUP C

05 Environmental Sciences

07 Agricultural and Veterinary Sciences

09 Engineering

 

GROUP B

21 History and Archaeology

22 Philosophy and Religious Studies

GROUP D

13 Education

19 Studies in Creative Arts and Writing

20 Language, Communication and Culture

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Definitions

Engagement 
Research engagement is the interaction between researchers and research end-users (including industry, government, non-governmental organisations, communities and community organisations), for the mutually beneficial exchange of knowledge, technologies and methods, and resources in a context of partnership and reciprocity.

Impact 
Research impact is the contribution that research makes to the economy, society and environment, beyond the contribution to academic research.

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Engagement—a narrative

  • Provides context for the engagement indicators
  • Allows institutions to describe engagement activities where the engagement indicators are not sufficient
  • Allows institutions to provide additional quantitative information, where relevant, which may be used by the ARC to develop indicators for subsequent rounds

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Impact studies

  • Impact will be assessed primarily using qualitative information in the form of impact studies
  • Impact studies typically detail
    • Research underpinning the impact
    • Approach to impact
    • Details of the impact
  • Impact studies will allow for the inclusion of measures or indicators of impact