Sustaining knowledge exchange and research impact in the social sciences and humanities : investing in knowledge broker roles in UK universities

Lightowler, Claire and Knight, Christine (2013) Sustaining knowledge exchange and research impact in the social sciences and humanities : investing in knowledge broker roles in UK universities. Evidence and Policy, 9 (3). pp. 317-334. ISSN 1744-2648

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Abstract

Over the last decade, higher education policy in the United Kingdom (UK) has increasingly focused on the impact of academic research. This has resulted in the emergence of specialist knowledge brokers within UK universities in the social sciences and humanities. Our empirical research identified a tension between the research impact agenda and the value placed on knowledge brokerage. Based on interviews with knowledge brokers at the University of Edinburgh, we argue that funding models, short-term contracts, and posts combining knowledge brokerage with other functions result in a transient population and a squeeze on knowledge brokerage, which may limit its effectiveness in achieving research impact.