“With today’s mounting pressures on research funding… research practitioners in HE, government, and NGOs face a mounting challenge”
Research has a long tail. The vaccine for Polio — the devastating viral epidemic linked to thousands of cases of paralysation and death in the first half of the 20th century — was launched in 1955.
The impact is still being felt today (and forevermore): according to the World Health Organisation, more than 18 million people walk today who would have been paralysed without the vaccine. Yet, the initial exploratory research project that looked at the poliovirus started and finished decades ago.
It’s precisely this recognition of the long-tail effects of research that is driving an emerging conversation around the assessment of research activity both in the UK and globally.
With today’s mounting pressures on research funding, especially following the global credit crunch, research practitioners in higher education, government, and NGOs face a mounting challenge: how can they continue to expand the borders of intellectual discovery, while investing in research activities that lead to impact and achieve the desired mission?