Alumni involvement in research

Are you an Exeter graduate and interested in getting involved in Exeter research?

Whatever your field of interest or work, there are many different ways to engage with the exciting and varied social science research which is happening at Exeter. These range from just following a research group on Twitter through helping to shape aspects of a research project alongside academics to providing introductions to networks which might benefit from the research. So if you're interested (and we hope you are!), why not become a part of our wider engaged research community? Complete our Alumni Research Involvement Form today.

Background to the research impact agenda

In addition to writing scholarly articles, academics whose research is funded by UK Research Councils have to indicate the wider benefits that their research aims to achieve; this is known as 'impact'. Researchers are also encouraged to 'co-create' aspects of research with non-academic stakeholders.

For the recent Research Excellence Framework (REF) exercise in 2014 (which assessed the quality of academic writing and research in order to inform the allocation of public funding), each discipline also had to indicate its strategy for achieving real world impact for its research through working with outside agencies and partners. Each also had to demonstrate what had recently been achieved by putting forward case studies. We are proud to say that across Exeter Social Sciences, much of our impact was considered to be world leading.  For further details of this, see summaries of our impact case studies

Exciting achievements

To give a flavour of the diversity of Exeter's social science research and what it can achieve, here are some examples from across the College.

  • Research in the Graduate School of Education (GSE) has, among other things, shaped policy on the teaching of grammar and writing, with Professor Debra Myhill also winning a national award for impact in social science research.
  • Law School research has influenced the approach of policy-makers and the judiciary to cohabitation law reform and post-separation parenting.
  • In Politics, research by the Centre for European Governance has shaped the practices of the World Bank, the European Commission and the OECD, while the Centre for Rural Policy Research has informed policies on sustainable agriculture, and improved food production and land management.
  • In Sociology, Philosophy and Anthropology (SPA), our research has had impact on the execution of military operations, the shaping of military training and education, and on efforts to reduce the humanitarian harms of conflict, as well as contributing to the understanding of evolution.
  • Policy makers have drawn heavily on the Area Studies work of Exeter researchers in the Institute of Arab and Islamic Studies in developing Middle East policy.

So, while we think we have made an excellent start, we would like to invite you, as our alumni, to get involved and help us to continue to make Exeter Social Science research a real force to be reckoned with nationally and globally.

New Research

We are looking for help in teaming up with partners outside higher education who might be interested in getting involved in 'co-creating' aspects of our research or who can see that research might be useful to the field they work in, to their networks, customers or clients.

One example of how this can work is the recent involvement of two Exeter alumni who work for Relate in helping a Law School project to develop an online tool to assess suitability for different types of family dispute resolution, building on recommendations of the Mapping Paths to Family Justice research study.

Examples of other new projects underway include:

  • The monitoring of Ebola by anthropologist Ann Kelly in SPA, who is working with the Department for International Development and is a member of the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE);
  • Brahm Norwich in GSE is looking to evaluate the Integrated Group Reading Programme (IGR) designed as an early reading intervention taught by class teachers for groups of 3-4 children in Years 2 and 3;
  • A joint interdisciplinary approach by Law and Politics to look at EU federalism and comparative constitutional law;
  • Further critical work on conflict, security and peace within the Middle East is being undertaken by researchers in the Institute of Arab and Islamic Studies, SPA, Politics and Law.

To read more about our research across all our departments, visit the College research webpages, or take a look at the research happening as part of our Humanities and Social Sciences Strategy.

Next Steps

There is so much going on - if you are interested, we would love to hear from you and, if appropriate, to explore how we might work together to achieve mutual benefits. So please do consider how you might engage with our research:

  • Might you be interested in co-creating research ideas with us?
  • Can you help us connect with networks or audiences who might be interested in hearing about or using our research?
  • Are you simply interested to know more about what is going on in research terms in your former department?
  • Or do you have other ideas about how we might collaborate?

Let us know by completing the Alumni Research Involvement Form and we will get in touch.

We look forward to hearing from you!

Thank you

Anne Barlow
Associate Dean for Research, SSIS