About this resource

The material on this site is intended for doctoral students, early career researchers, and other researchers who want to develop their understanding of Knowledge Exchange (KE) and Impact, as support in learning about KE paths and impact outcomes at different stages of the research process. It also aims to support research trainers and facilitators, as a source of teaching materials and ideas to be used flexibly in any courses they provide on KE and research impact in the social sciences.

This resource is not simply a toolkit for REF submissions or RCUK applications. While both these practical ends are important, the main aim of this site is to support career development in ways that are both respectful of the values of those involved in research and knowledge exchange, and open to innovation and diversity.

What can I find in this resource?

This resource provides:

• Conceptual tools to support understanding of KE and impact
• Practical examples from the social sciences
• Practical tools for teaching and learning (videos, presentations, bibliographies, webography)
• Debate around key challenges in KE and impact
• Opportunities to share your own resources

How is the material organised?

The resource is organised around KE paths and five layers of achieving impact, derived from research by Oancea (2011):

• collaboration with users in the co-construction of research (participation)
• dissemination and achieving visibility of research (visibility)
• application and use (use)
• ensuring benefits to discrete population groups and the wider public (benefits)
• percolation of knowledge through normative and discursive changes beyond specific impacts on policy and practice (diffusion).

For each of these layers, the resource provides video interviews with senior academics about their experiences of knowledge exchange and impact, excerpts from research interviews with academic, management and support staff and with non-academic partners, as well as annotated bibliographies and webographies on the topic. Additionally, you will find examples of successful KE activities and practical suggestions for achieving and evaluating knowledge exchange and impact at individual, institutional, and policy levels.

Who produced this resource?

The resource was developed with support from the Higher Education Innovation Fund, via the Knowledge Exchange in the Social Sciences (KESS) project. KESS aimed to expand understanding of KE and impact in the social sciences,  support the development of capacity for knowledge exchange and impact among social science researchers at all stages in the research process; and add to the digital presence for knowledge exchange and impact across the social sciences in Oxford. The research team included:

Professor Alis Oancea
Emeritus Professor Anne Edwards
Dr Eleni Stamou
Dr Sanja Djerasimovic
Dr Kate Cantrell
Jill Boggs
Jacqueline Gallo

To cite this resource
Oancea, A., Djerasimovic, S. and Stamou, E. (2015) Impact and Knowledge Exchange.

Bibliography

Knowledge Exchange

A survey of 833 government officials is conducted to address questions regarding the extent of instrumental, conceptual and symbolic use of university research in government agencies. The authors use econometric models predicting these effects as well as generating regression results stemming from these models. The results suggests that the three types of use of research all play a significant role in government agencies. Large differences with respect to research utilization are seen between policy domains, and a small number of determinant are identified that explain the increase in the use of the three types of use in different ways. Based on these results, the authors make recommendations for increasing the three types of research utilization. Providing researchers with additional incentives could increase instrumental use, and conceptual use would benefit from the circulation of qualitative research reports by policy makers and the involvement or more managers and professionals. Finally, symbolic use could be increased with additional incentives for professionals and managers in government agencies. Limits of these finding are posed due to the fact that the complementary roles of the three type of use are now well known.

Type: Journal Article

The book discusses the nature of social sciences in the context on current social change. The author problematizes recent developments in higher education policy and discusses their implications for social sciences. He particularly focuses on the challenges posed by the ‘audit culture’ and the ‘impact agenda’ and argues that social sciences need to respond by reframing it in terms of ‘public social science’ and by putting forward their ‘public value’.

Type of Text: Printed Book

This is a large-scale systematic review on knowledge exchange interventions integrating social science research and policymaking and lobbying processes on knowledge exchange interventions at the organizational and policymaking levels. A total of 4,102 documents were identified, 102 of which were analysed in depth in order to identify all articles cited five times or more or books cited seven times or more. The literature was organized around the contexts of politics, economics and social structuring. The model developed suggests that the efficacy of knowledge exchange strategies is not context-independent, and a detailed analysis of context could use the framework presented in order to maximize knowledge use.

Type: Journal Article

Webography

The University of Oxford’s webpage on knowledge exchange and impact offers general information on institutional support for KE and impact activities. It includes links to useful information for individual researchers on: accessing relevant services in the university; impact pathways; KE networks;  internal funding opportunities; practical guidance on public engagement; and existing KE/public engagement schemes. Its includes links to various public engagement resources such as Oxford Sparks (with focus on digital platforms).

Social Science Division’s research impact and knowledge exchange team have created this webpage to offer support with a range of matters, including internal and external funding support, information on the REF, ESRC’s Impact Acceleration Account, and Open Access policy, information on KE and impact activities across the division, support with divisional and departmental strategies for research and impact, as well as a range of skills training and resources.

KE&I Model

Diagram showing the paths of knowledge exchange and the five layers of achieving impact. Click on a term to discover more.

[kei-diagram]

Examples of Practice

Presentations

‘Introduction to Knowledge Exchange‘ – presentation by Aileen Marshall-Brown (Research Impact Facilitator, Social Sciences Division)

The presentation reflects on the background of the current focus on impact and knowledge exchange, and motivations and aims in relation to exchange of knowledge and generation of impact; it offers a look at range of potential KE activities, and opportunities as well as challenges of engaging with stakeholders, and recognises the importance of evaluating impact of one’s research.

‘Evaluating Knowledge Exchange and Impact’ – presentation by Professor Alis Oancea (Director of Research, Department of Education)

In this presentation, Professor Oancea looks at the process of evaluation of knowledge exchange activities, and of research impact, by offering different evaluation designs, and suggesting various elements of KE activities that could be subject to assessment, such as objectives, relationships, and activities.

‘Top tips when engaging with stakeholders’ – presentation by Professor Judy Sebba (Former Director of the Rees Centre)

Professor Sebba reflects on the work of the REES Centre, and its commitment to building effective relationships with policymakers and practitioners, through various activities ranging from government briefings, through researcher-in-residence and visiting placements to the Centre schemes, to use of social media.

‘Interacting with stakeholders’ – presentation by Dr Stuart Basten (Associate Professor in Social Policy, Department of Social Policy and Intervention)

In this presentation, Dr Basten draws on his experience of research on policy and population in Asia, to offer practical advice on building fruitful relationships with stakeholders, and achieving beneficial user engagement from the research design stage.

Summaries of IAA-Awarded research

  • Accelerating International Impact to Improve Health Outcomes for HIV-positive and Abused Children, Dr Lucie Cluver (Department of Social Policy and Intervention, IAA award recipient)

Working with organisations including UNICEF and the World Health Organisation, Dr Lucie Cluver will use the KE Award to accelerate the impact of research on policy for AIDS-affected children. The research team have a proven track record of impact in this area with two previous studies having been cited in South African and US government policies.
Two new projects were launched in 2014, one addressing abuse of AIDS-affected children in Southern Africa and the other promoting adherence to antiretroviral therapy and sexual and reproductive health services for HIV+ adolescents. A knowledge exchange research assistant will work with the team and the various partner organisations to ensure the maximum level of impact is achieved in these important areas.

  • Increasing state capacity to reduce cybercrime, Professor Ian Brown (Oxford Internet Institute, IAA award recipient)

In collaboration with the Commonwealth Cybercrime Initiative (CCI) and the UK National Crime Agency (NCA), Dr Ian Brown will contribute to the CCI’s programme of needs assessments for Commonwealth member countries in combatting cybercrime and help to further develop the NCA’s work on more effective processes for law enforcement agencies to gain access to digital evidence held outside their own jurisdiction, in a way that maintains essential human rights protections.
This will feed into the development and evaluation of the Cybersecurity Capacity Maturity Model, currently underway at Oxford, ensuring that the Model is of maximum utility to external users in reducing overall levels of cybercrime and increasing national cyber security. It will also strengthen the links between Oxford, the Commonwealth and its member states, and the NCA, enabling future knowledge exchange and cooperative research.

  • Developing evidence-informed educational practice for children in care, Professor Judy Sebba (Department of Education, IAA award recipient)

Two visiting practitioner fellows, Dr Alun Rees and Lucy Wawrzyniak, from the national and Oxfordshire ‘Virtual Schools’ (teams in every local authority appointed to promote the educational outcomes of children in care by working across schools) will be based at the Rees Centre to further develop working relationships between educational service providers and researchers.
At a time of significant change in their responsibilities, the fellowships will benefit national and local providers of educational services for children in care by supporting teachers, foster carers, schools, social workers, young people in care, local authorities and the DfE to make better use of research so that decisions reflect findings. The fellows will help to hone the Centre’s research and how it communicates and supports service providers to interpret and use it.

  • Legal arrangements for cross-border resolution and liquidity within over the counter (OTC) derivatives markets, Dr Dan Awrey (Faculty of Law , IAA award recipient)

Working with the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, Dr Dan Awrey and colleagues from Columbia University and the University of Notre Dame have organised a series of knowledge exchange workshops with the aim of improving understanding of the relationship between law and finance within the global financial system.
These one-day workshops will feature analysis and perspectives from academics working in the fields of law, economics and finance; from financial policymakers at the FRBC and elsewhere, and from the market participants impacted by financial policy decisions. The inaugural workshop, hosted by the FRBC, will examine the legal arrangements for cross-border resolution and liquidity within OTC derivatives markets.

  • Building Grassroots Engagement with the Climate Crunch debate (BGECC), Mr Roger Street and Dr Christopher Shaw (Environmental Change Institute, School of Geography and the Environment, IAA award recipients)

This fellowship will see Dr Shaw embedded within the Fleming Policy Centre (FPC) and their extended network of climate policy actors. It will provide a framework in which to apply Dr Shaw’s research on engagement with low carbon initiatives by the public, business and all sectors and build on the FPC’s practical experience of working with diverse energy and policy organisations and the grassroots.
The partnership will improve the effectiveness of the FPC’s work for the benefit of national and international climate policy and society as a whole and generate insights of relevance to a broad range of actors working across related fields. It will enhance Dr Shaw’s research and his understanding of research users and their needs and the challenges of engaging individuals, communities and organisations with decarbonisation.

Seminar series

Materials from a high-profile seminar series on ‘Impact and Knowledge Exchange in an Evolving Research Environment’, held at the University of Oxford and convened by Professors Roger Goodman (Head of the Social Sciences Division) and Alis Oancea (Director of Research, Department of Education).

  • Seminar 1 – In metrics we trust, Professors James Wilsdon (University of Sussex) & David Walker (Academy of Social Sciences)

Download the presentation – oxford_metrics_wilsdon_walker_6may

Download the presentation – hill_presentation

Download the presentation – belfiore_presentation

Download the presentation – wouters_presentation

Download the presentation – kerridge_presentation

Discussion chaired by Professor Roger Goodman (Social Sciences Division) and including Sir Andrew Dilnot (Warden of Nuffield College Oxford and Chairman of the UK Statistics Authority), Dr Claire Donovan (Reader in Science and Technology Studies, Brunel University London), Professor Colette Fagan (Professor of Sociology and Deputy Dean of the Faculty of Humanities, University of Manchester), Professor Alis Oancea (Director of Research, Department of Education) and Professor Ian Walmsley (Hooke Professor of Experimental Physics and Professorial Fellow of St Hugh’s College)

 

Interviews

  • Dr Dan Awrey (Faculty of Law) talks about setting-up collaborations to improve understanding of the relationship between law and finance within the global financial system. Watch Developing Networks to Inform Research on Derivatives Market – part 1, part 2

More about this project:

Working with the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, Dr Dan Awrey and colleagues from Columbia University and the University of Notre Dame have organised a series of knowledge exchange workshops with the aim of improving understanding of the relationship between law and finance within the global financial system.

These one-day workshops will feature analysis and perspectives from academics working in the fields of law, economics and finance; from financial policymakers at the FRBC and elsewhere, and from the market participants impacted by financial policy decisions. The inaugural workshop, hosted by the FRBC, will examine the legal arrangements for cross-border resolution and liquidity within OTC derivatives markets.

  • Professor Ian Brown (Professor of Information Security and Privacy, Oxford Internet Institute) talks about collaborating with different stakeholders to carry-out research on increasing state capacity to reduce cyber-crime: Watch Using Research on Cyber-security for Capacity Building Purposes – part 1, part 2

Project description: Increasing state capacity to reduce cybercrime

In collaboration with the Commonwealth Cybercrime Initiative (CCI) and the UK National Crime Agency (NCA), Dr Ian Brown will contribute to the CCI’s programme of needs assessments for Commonwealth member countries in combatting cybercrime and help to further develop the NCA’s work on more effective processes for law enforcement agencies to gain access to digital evidence held outside their own jurisdiction, in a way that maintains essential human rights protections.

This will feed into the development and evaluation of the Cybersecurity Capacity Maturity Model, currently underway at Oxford, ensuring that the Model is of maximum utility to external users in reducing overall levels of cybercrime and increasing national cyber security. It will also strengthen the links between Oxford, the Commonwealth and its member states, and the NCA, enabling future knowledge exchange and cooperative research.

More about this project:

Project description: Developing evidence-informed educational practice for children in care

Two visiting practitioner fellows, Dr Alun Rees and Lucy Wawrzyniak (see below), from the national and Oxfordshire ‘Virtual Schools’ (teams in every local authority appointed to promote the educational outcomes of children in care by working across schools) will be based at the Rees Centre to further develop working relationships between educational service providers and researchers.

At a time of significant change in their responsibilities, the fellowships will benefit national and local providers of educational services for children in care by supporting teachers, foster carers, schools, social workers, young people in care, local authorities and the DfE to make better use of research so that decisions reflect findings. The fellows will help to hone the Centre’s research and how it communicates and supports service providers to interpret and use it.

More about this project:

Project description: Building Grassroots Engagement with the Climate Crunch debate (BGECC)
(with Mr Roger Street)

This fellowship will see Dr Shaw embedded within the Fleming Policy Centre (FPC) and their extended network of climate policy actors. It will provide a framework in which to apply Dr Shaw’s research on engagement with low carbon initiatives by the public, business and all sectors and build on the FPC’s practical experience of working with diverse energy and policy organisations and the grassroots.

The partnership will improve the effectiveness of the FPC’s work for the benefit of national and international climate policy and society as a whole and generate insights of relevance to a broad range of actors working across related fields. It will enhance Dr Shaw’s research and his understanding of research users and their needs and the challenges of engaging individuals, communities and organisations with decarbonisation.