Twitterchat: What makes a good research environment?

12 May 2017

See the entire Twitterchat on Storify

#whywedoresearch, with guest hosts @councilofdeans and @katerinakolyva

Background information

The results of the 2014 Research Excellence Framework (REF) provided encouraging news for the state of research in the Unit of Assessment (UoA3) which includes Nursing, Midwifery and the Allied Health Professions. 81% of research was rated as world leading (31%) or internationally excellent (50%). On quality of research environment, 50.1% of UoA3 submissions were rated as world leading, putting UoA3 almost 6% ahead of the national average.

In REF 2014, the environment sub-profile contributed 15% of the overall quality rating, and was assessed in terms of its ‘vitality and sustainability’. Within REF, ‘environment’ referred to the strategies, resources, and infrastructure that support research activity and which contribute more widely to the discipline. Each submission included an environment template describing factors such as the unit’s research strategy; support for research staff/student; and research income, whilst statistical data was also provided on research income and the number of research doctoral degrees awarded.

Proposed changes to the REF outlined in the funding bodies’ consultation document suggest substantial changes to the environment template and the ways in which this data is used including: a more structured, less narrative approach to the environment template; the use of more quantitative environment data; and the assessment of impact and environment at the institutional level.

Given the proposed changes to the environment sub-profile we hope this Twitterchat on What makes a good research environment? will facilitate discussion around the factors that help contribute towards a strong research environment and will also provide a useful opportunity for healthcare academics to share examples of good practice.

Twitterchat questions

We’ve come up with a few questions as a structure for the conversation:

  • Q.1 What matters in creating and sustaining a vibrant research culture?
  • Q.2 What collaborations and networks are central to a high performing research culture?
  • Q.3 How can research capacity be most effectively developed?
  • Q.4 What are the most effective strategies for planning, capturing, and evaluating impact from research?
  • Q.5 Please provide examples of how you have translated research into health care practice.

Twitterchat basics

What is a Twitter chat?

A Twitter chat is where a group of Twitter users meet at a pre-determined time to discuss a certain topic, using a designated hashtag (#) for each tweet contributed. A host or moderator will pose questions (designated with Q1, Q2…) to prompt responses from participants and encourage interaction among the group. Chats typically last an hour.

Why participate in a Twitter chat?

Twitter chats provide a chance to use Twitter professionally to share information and ideas, discuss topics with peers, network and grow your circle through shared interests.

How to participate in a Twitter chat

  • Join Twitter (if you haven’t already)
  • Read through the pre-chat information
  • Join the chat by searching for the hashtag #whywedoresearch
  • Feel free to just follow the conversation at first and perhaps introduce yourself
  • Join the conversation when you feel ready – remember to use the hashtag each time you tweet
  • If you miss anything during the chat, don’t worry – there will be a summary on Storify or you can search for the hashtag to see all the tweets again

Remember – even if this is your first Twitterchat don’t be afraid to join in!

About our hosts

Professor Patrick Callaghan: is the Council of Deans of Health Executive Team lead for research. Patrick is also a Professor of Mental Health Nursing at The University of Nottingham.

Dr Katerina Kolyva: is Executive Director of the Council of Deans of Health.

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