Vertigo Ventures (VV) carried out Impact Case Study reviews and 121 meetings for a number of academics at Bath Spa as part of the institution’s preparation for REF 2021. The review feedback helped academics who were writing ICS to better structure their case studies as well as use language appropriate for a range of audiences.
VV were also able to highlight where additional evidence was required and where topic specific terminology needed further explanation, whilst continually addressing how the author could more effectively convey both greater reach and significance. The fact that suggestions and comments came from an expert body external to the university meant the authors recognised the advice as both reliable and credible and as a result any necessary amendments were duly actioned. This also helped our central research/impact team when coordinating with the authors and providing support as part of the final stages of developing case studies ready for submission.
VV were very flexible when it came to the scheduling of both the reviews and the 121 follow up meetings, all of which were carried out in a timely manner complementing our own timetable and internal deadlines (which had to change more than once due to Covid-related delays).
VV’s extensive knowledge and understanding of the REF guidance became invaluable to us as an institution and meant case study authors were able to seek clarification where necessary to better understand the how’s and the why’s behind the recommendations made, resulting in a much greater level of confidence throughout the submission.
At an institutional level, the reviews provided support for the decisions that needed to be made by the REF Steering Group, including which Impact Case Studies to include in the final submission and how best to mitigate the Covid impact on our submission.
Overall, the support provided by VV has been critical to develop the strongest possible REF submission whilst also helping our researchers build more awareness and skills around impact, which we plan to further develop in the future to keep expanding our impact culture at Bath Spa.
Dr Astrid Breel (Impact Research Fellow)
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