Love DORA, Hate Rankings?

Posted in Research on May 10th, 2021 by steve

“Lizzie Gadd argues that any commitment to responsible research assessment as outlined in DORA (Declaration on Research Assessment) and other such manifestos needs to include action on global university rankings. Highlighting four fundamental critiques of the way in which journal metrics and university rankings have been deployed in higher education, she proposes universities could unite around the principle of being ‘much more than their rank’ …” (more)

[LSE Impact Blog, 10 May]

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Minister Harris announces €23 million investment in Ireland’s top post-doctoral researchers

Posted in Research on May 8th, 2021 by steve

Ireland“Minister for Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science Simon Harris TD has today (Friday 7 May) announced €23 million in funding for a programme for post-doctoral researchers to become research leaders. The investment, which is a joint initiative between Science Foundation Ireland (SFI) and the Irish Research Council (IRC), will see some 40 early career researchers, across all disciplines, supported to develop cutting-edge projects through awards of up to €550,000 over a four-year period …” (more)

[, 6 May]

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Rights Retention, Open Access and Learned Society Publishing

Posted in Legal issues, Research on May 4th, 2021 by steve

Ireland“The April 2021 issue of Physics World arrived this morning after the usual month in the post to Ireland. I don’t know why it takes so long. My copy of Private Eye usually takes just a couple of days. Anyway, there is an interview in the latest issue with Steve Hall, the former Managing Director of IOP Publishing who stepped down last month …” (more)

[In the Dark, 4 May]

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Academia remains an inaccessible career choice for many

Posted in Research on May 3rd, 2021 by steve

Ireland“We are often told by those older and wiser than us that if we do what we love we will never work a day in our lives. While we may strive for a career that we will love, reality can be quite different to our ideals. This is particularly pertinent for those who wish to pursue a career in academia. Practical barriers, the persisting conditions, and academic bureaucracy means many are faced with insurmountable deterrents …” (more)

[Alison O’Brien, Trinity News, 3 May]


Ryanair gives Trinity College €1.5m for research on sustainable aviation fuels

Posted in Research on April 29th, 2021 by steve

Ireland“Trinity College Dublin will begin researching sustainable aviation fuels and zero-carbon flying with the aid of €1.5 million from Ryanair. The airline and the university said on Thursday that the Ryanair Sustainable Aviation Research Centre at Trinity would work on sustainable aviation fuel, zero carbon aircraft propulsion and noise mapping …” (more)

[Barry O’Halloran, Irish Times, 29 April]

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Universities call on EU not to restrict Horizon access

Posted in Research on April 26th, 2021 by steve

“Research-intensive university groups representing 77 universities across Europe have signed a joint statement urging the European Union not to restrict access for associated countries, such as the United Kingdom, Switzerland and Israel, to parts of its multi-billion-euro Horizon Europe research programme, including those covering space and quantum projects …” (more)

[Brendan O’Malley, University World News, 23 April]

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Law, Metrics, and the Scholarly Economy

Posted in Research on April 22nd, 2021 by steve

“As markets began to usurp other forms of social regulation throughout the 20th century, metrics became increasingly central to the coordination of new spheres of market-mediated relations. More recently, digital metrics have been operationalized to facilitate the platformization of those domains. Platforms use automated scoring systems to rank content and actors across the markets they mediate …” (more)

[Jake Goldenfein, LPE Project, 22 April]


Survey: Nearly 90% of PhDs Feel Pandemic Has Affected Their Research

Posted in Research on April 19th, 2021 by steve

Ireland“A survey has found that nearly 90% of Trinity’s PhD students feel their research has been negatively impacted by the coronavirus pandemic. Among issues affecting research, 16.7% identified lack of access to library materials, 23.6% identified lack of access to TCD resources, 20.4% identified lack of a suitable space to work from home, 19.6% identified lack of access to supervisors and meetings and 19.7% identified lack of access to key resources and data …” (more)

[Sárán Fogarty, University Times, 18 April]

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New €9m scheme aims to boost science research capacity of technological universities

Posted in Research on April 16th, 2021 by steve

Ireland“The Government is investing €9 million to boost the research capacity of technological universities and institutes of technology in the area of science and technology. The move will include the funding of replacement lecturers for academics involved in successful research applications, as well as between 20 and 40 PhD students overall …” (more)

[Carl O’Brien, Irish Times, 15 April]

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Minister Harris announces new SFI programme to support research in Technological Universities and Institutes of Technology

Posted in Research on April 15th, 2021 by steve

Ireland“Minister for Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science Simon Harris TD has today (Thursday) announced details of the Science Foundation Ireland Frontiers for Partnership Awards programme, which aims through an investment of €9 million to increase research capacity within Technological Universities (TUs) and Institutes of Technology (IoTs) …” (more)

[, 15 April]

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Graduates now earn more in Ireland than in UK, but Germany tops both

Posted in Research on April 9th, 2021 by steve

Ireland“With the exception of the second World War, there has always been free movement for people between Ireland and Great Britain. This has also included the right for Irish and British people to work in either jurisdiction. Despite Brexit, this situation remains unchanged …” (more)

[John FitzGerald, Irish Times, 9 April]

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Taylor & Francis Group and IReL agree three year ‘read and publish’ deal

Posted in Research on March 31st, 2021 by steve

Ireland“IReL and Taylor & Francis Group have signed a new transformative agreement, for three years starting in March 2021. IReL is a licensing consortium of nine participating Irish publicly-funded higher education institutions. This deal allows Irish researchers access to Taylor & Francis Group journals as well as the option to publish in around 2,000 titles without paying article publishing fees …” (more)

[IReL, 31 March]

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Research and Development – Public Investment

Posted in Research on March 30th, 2021 by steve

IrelandRose Conway-Walsh (Mayo, Sinn Fein): To ask the Minister for Education and Skills if he will provide the public and private investment in research and development as a numerical value, a share of GDP, a share of GNI and a share of GNI* in each year since 2006, in tabular form; and if he will make a statement on the matter …” (more)

[Dáil written answers, 25 March]

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‘Motivation matters: predicting students’ career decidedness and intention to drop out after the first year in higher education’

Posted in Research on March 29th, 2021 by steve

Abstract: Higher education institutions are striving to lower student dropout rates to increase the number of academically qualified persons in the labour market and decrease misguided investment. Researchers generally acknowledge that students who are firmly decided on their studies tend to drop out of their studies less frequently. Building on the extended expectancy-value model via the cost component, this longitudinal study investigates changes in and the impact of students’ motivation on career decidedness and intention to drop out. We analysed data from 351 first-year university students aiming to become teachers across three measurement points, finding that the task effort of students and, to a lesser degree, their interest value was related to career decidedness and, indirectly, to the intention to drop out after the first year in higher education. Moreover, the results revealed that these students’ ability beliefs increased and interest value decreased from the beginning to the end of the first year at higher education. Accordingly, we discuss the theoretical and practical implications taken from these findings.

Carina Bargmann, Lisa Thiele and Simone Kauffeld, Motivation matters: predicting students’ career decidedness and intention to drop out after the first year in higher education, Higher Education. Published: 29 March 2021.


The REF goes on

Posted in Research on March 28th, 2021 by steve

“A few communications with former colleagues from the United Kingdom last week reminded me that, despite the Covid-19 pandemic, the deadline for submissions to the 2021 Research Excellence Framework is next week. It seems very strange to me to push ahead with this despite the Coronavirus disruption, but it’s yet another sign that academics have to serve the bureaucrats rather than the other way round …” (more)

[In the Dark, 27 March]

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Row erupts over university’s use of research metrics in job-cut decisions

Posted in Research on March 27th, 2021 by steve

“A university in the United Kingdom is facing criticism over the responsible use of research metrics, after it used information about scientists’ research income and publication records to identify dozens of jobs that are ‘at risk’. Critics say that using metrics in such a decision is inappropriate because they tend to focus on a small part of an academic’s job. They add that the institution at the centre of the row – the University of Liverpool – used a metric based on citations that is designed to evaluate large groups of researchers, rather than individuals …” (more)

[Holly Else, Nature, 25 March]

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SAGE and IReL Sign Transformative Agreement

Posted in Research on March 26th, 2021 by steve

Ireland“IReL has signed its first transformative open access agreement with SAGE Publishing. The three-year Read and Publish deal will provide expanded open access publishing opportunities for corresponding authors at IReL member institutions …” (more)

[IReL, 25 March]

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€95 billion European research and innovation programme launched

Posted in Research on March 25th, 2021 by steve

“Horizon Europe, the European Union’s new research and investment programme – the biggest programme ever undertaken in Europe – has been launched today. The new multidisciplinary programme will run until 2027 and will be backed by a budget of over €95 billion …” (more)

[RTÉ News, 25 March]

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Minister Harris announces €5.2 million to support Science Foundation Ireland Discover Programme

Posted in Research, Teaching on March 23rd, 2021 by steve

Ireland“Minister for Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science Simon Harris TD has today (Monday) announced €5.2 million in funding to support 49 projects as part of Science Foundation Ireland’s Discover Programme. The funding will support a number of exciting projects including supports for deaf and hard of hearing people who wish to learn Science, Technology, Engineering or Maths, or Girls Coding which seeks to address imbalance by encouraging, facilitating, and providing opportunities to teenage female students to engage with Computer Science …” (more)

[DFHERIS, 22 March]

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Warning as students reinfected with Covid within six months

Posted in Research on March 19th, 2021 by steve

Ireland“Three university students have been diagnosed with Covid-19 for a second time, within six months of their initial infection. The three NUI Galway students were infected in February and were part of the major Covid outbreak that kicked off in the city early last month …” (more)

[Katherine Donnelly and Eilish O’Regan, Independent, 18 March]

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