Research Impact - Submission Check Point Conference & Exhibition

  • Tuesday, 09 June 2020
  • The Bridgewater Hall, Manchester
  • 08:30 - 16:40
Expert Speakers
Sponsors & Supporters
  • Overview

This CPD accredited conference programme will be our sixth annual event dedicated to discussing research impact and the Research Excellence Framework.

This year's agenda will provide delegates with the opportunity to use the conference as a check-point ahead of the REF 2021 submission deadline, offering a platform to refine knowledge of the assessment criteria and guidelines, discuss practical insights to assist the development of research outputs across disciplines, institutions, projects and staff; as well as discussing best practices pertaining to measuring and broadening impact, cultivating positive research and working environments - in addition to looking ahead to REF 2024.

Delegates will engage with our roster of distinguished speakers on topical issues, including:

  • The representativeness of REF panels. The Analysis of REF 2021 Panel Membership Report, published by the four devolved HE funding bodies, identified a number of positive trends and marked improvements in female representation (45%) on panels since REF 2014 (33%). Significant increases were also reported in the proportion of members with declared disabilities and that self-identify as LGB. However representation of those from BME backgrounds have demonstrated more limited progress - how can recommendations made in reports such as Improving panel representativeness: Review of Nominating Bodies Equality and Diversity Templates, such as adjustments to both nominations and selection processes, be implemented to improve panels' representativeness?
  • Platforms dedicated to broadening research impact - disseminating outputs across multiple channels and networks, aggregating relevant metrics and mapping outreach. Learn about platforms through which researchers can raise the profile of their work, manage projects and in some instances, increase full-downloads of their outputs by as much as 23%.  
  • Cultures and environments of research; mindful of the wider-context and contributors in academia, what impact is the REF having on morale of academics and researchers? The conference programme will feature discussions that reflect feedback to surveys/reviews commissioned by devolved funding bodies/HE institutions and 1,200+ delegates who provided feedback from OFE conferences on 'gaming', re-focusing research to be more 'REF-able', academic labour being subsumed into value-for-money exercises and institutional models developed to promote healthy research environments. As our 2019 keynote speakers highlighted - it's time for an open conversation about the changing nature of academic careers.
  • The future relationship between domestic HE institutes and the European Union. Discuss how the WAB and the government's Brexit policy will affect cross-continental collaboration, research impact and funding; how will the UK continue to attract highly skilled researchers to work here? As well as retaining access to money, networks and regulations that support research.             
  • Confirmed Speakers

Event Sponsors

  • Event Programme


Registration and Coffee in the Networking Area


Chair's Opening Address


Keynote Address

The Rt Hon Chris Skidmore MP, Minister of State for Universities, Science, Research and Innovation (invited)

The Rt Hon Chris Skidmore MP holds the Minister of State portfolio for Universities, Science, Research and Innovation. Within his Department for Education remit, Mr Skidmore is responsible for universities and higher education reform, education exports - including international research and widening participation in HE. The Minister's Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy portfolio includes responsibilities for science and research, innovation, technology and intellectual property.   


Professor Karl Dayson's remit at the University of Salford incorporates the strategic direction of research at the institution, the REF submission and development of Salford's postgraduate research community.


Karl has been a consistent voice at Open Forum's Research Impact conference series, advocating for more inclusive employment models for academics and researchers. As part of last year's programme, Karl discussed the origins and effectiveness of the Salford model - the principle of no changes to contracts, building an approach based on academic career pathway and selection via 3-year personal research plans - and explored ways in which the data collected can influence research and impact opportunities.


An economic sociologist, Karl’s research has focused on alternative forms of finance and issues of financial inclusion. His PhD was on the paradox of the simultaneous demutualisation of  building societies and mutualisation of financial inclusion, which led to the creation of Community Finance Solutions (CFS); a research and development unit within Salford University. Much of Professor Dayson's early work was around community owned finance bodies and the creation of a dozen Community Development Finance Institutions in England. These organisations sought to address financial barriers faced by SMEs and households in some of the poorest areas in the country. The activity involved working closely with Barclays and Lloyds banks, the Bank of England, officials from H.M. Treasury and the Financial Services Authority. Karl and CFS were recognised for their groundbreaking work by Times Higher Education, winning the Award for Outstanding Contribution to the Community in 2005.


Speaker TBC


Headline Sponsor

For research to have impact, the people who can apply it need to find it and understand it. This requires a more systematic, evidence-based approach to communication, particularly to reach and engage audiences beyond academia. That said, there has been a gap between what researchers are expected to achieve in terms of broader audiences and impact, and the skills and tools required to achieve that. 


Kudos is working to fill that gap. We provide a methodology and toolkit for planning,  managing, measuring and reporting  on engagement and impact activities, as well as showcases to help publicise research to different target audiences. In this talk we will show how Kudos Pro is being used at organisations including the Universities of Liverpool, Manchester, Kent, Melbourne and Newcastle.


Panel Discussion


Coffee in the Networking Area

  • Adam Golberg, Research Development Manager – Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Nottingham (confirmed)

Adam Golberg is the Research Development Manager (Charities) within the Research Strategy and Development Team at Nottingham. His work on securing research funding, internal peer review processes and grant writing have been featured in the LSE Impact in the Social Sciences Blog, Times Higher Education, Research Professional and Funding Insight; as well as featuring on the Guardian Higher Education Live Chat on research funding.


Adam has previously presented on implications and responses to the phasing out of publication portability (2017), the long term impact of changes to the REF assessment criteria and guidelines (2019); and introducing delegates to the irrefutable Golberg's First Law of Higher Education Research Policy Change.


Adam tweets from @Cash4Questions and his blog, Cash for Questions: Social Science Research Funding, Policy and Development features a catalogue of his work covering grant applications, university culture and funding policy. 


Dr Simon Kerridge is Director of Research Services at the University of Kent, where he is responsible for all aspects of the research support including pre-award, post-award, information, strategy, assessment and governance. He has 25 years’ experience as a research manager and is on the boards of the international Consortia Advancing Standards in Research Administration Information (CASRAI) and the European Association of Research Managers and Administrators (EARMA). Simon was a panel secretary for the criteria setting phase of REF2014 and one of the authors of the Metric Tide report and the Fast Track Impact article How much was an impact case study worth in the UK Research Excellence Framework? Dr Kerridge sat on a number of national committees such as the UUK Open Access Coordination Group and the Research Information Management Coordination Group.


Simon has delivered presentations at three of our prior Research Impact conferences; on the expected and unexpected consequences of partial decoupling of outputs from individuals impact on the REF submission process (2017), how to develop the quality of research outputs and demonstrate originality, significance and rigour in REF applications (2018); and on the implications for staff of changes to the REF guidelines and assessment criteria (2019).


Case Study

  • Peter Gorsuch, Chief Editor, Scientific Editing, Nature Research Editing Service (confirmed)

Peter heads the Scientific Editing team at Nature Research Editing Service, which allows any researcher to benefit from expert editing and advice on draft grant applications and journal articles, to standards set by Nature Research – and which in 2013, saw UK HEI clients (including several Russell Group universities) benefit from editing and strategic advice on a large number of UK REF documents. Previously, Peter was an Associate Editor in the earth sciences team at Nature, where he handled papers in subjects ranging from carbon cycling to landscape morphology.


Panel Discussion


Lunch in the Networking Area

A hot, two-course lunch consisting of multiple options will be provided for delegates. We cater for all dietary requirements, including vegetarian, vegan and gluten/dairy-free; just notify us ahead of time should you have any allergens or requirements.


Chair's Afternoon Address


Speaker TBC


Case Study


Speaker TBC


Afternoon Refreshment Break


Case Study


Speaker TBC


Panel Discussion


Chair's Closing Remarks and Conference Close

  • Register for event

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Luke Boulter
  • Contact Details
  • Sponsors
  • Venue
  • Featured Events
  • Downloads

Contact Details



The Bridgewater Hall, Manchester

The Bridgewater Hall, Manchester

Construction of The Bridgewater Hall commenced on 22 March 1993, but the idea of a new concert hall for Manchester dates back to the reconstruction of the Free Trade Hall in the 1950s after wartime bomb damage. The Free Trade Hall was home to the city’s famous Hallé orchestra and also hosted rock and pop concerts. However, despite holding great public affection, the 1850s Free Trade Hall was ill-equipped to respond to the rising standards of service and acoustic excellence demanded by performers and audiences.

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