How to evaluate ex ante impact? An analysis of reviewers’ comments on impact statements in grant applications

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Title: How to evaluate ex ante impact? An analysis of reviewers’ comments on impact statements in grant applications
Authors: Ma, LaiLuo, JunwenFeliciani, ThomasShankar, Kalpana
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Date: 1-Oct-2020
Online since: 2022-07-11T10:50:32Z
Abstract: Impact statements are increasingly required and assessed in grant applications. In this study, we used content analysis to examine the ‘comments on impact’ section of the postal reviews and related documents of Science Foundation Ireland’s Investigators’ Programme to understand reviewers’ ex ante impact assessment. We found three key patterns: (1) reviewers favoured short-term, tangible impacts, particularly commercial ones; (2) reviewers commented on process-oriented impact (formative) in a more concrete and elaborate manner than on outcome-oriented impact (summative); and (3) topics related to scientific impacts were widely discussed even though the impact section was to be used for evaluating economic and societal impacts. We conclude that for ex ante impact assessment to be effective, funding agencies should indicate the types of impact expected from research proposals clearly instead of a general ‘wish list’ and that more focus should be put on process-oriented impact than outcome-oriented impact.
Funding Details: Science Foundation Ireland
Type of material: Journal Article
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Journal: Research Evaluation
Volume: 29
Issue: 4
Start page: 431
End page: 440
Copyright (published version): 2020 the Authors
Keywords: Public universitiesFunding agenciesResearch impact assessmentGrant applicationsParadoxicality
DOI: 10.1093/reseval/rvaa022
Language: en
Status of Item: Peer reviewed
ISSN: 0958-2029
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Appears in Collections:Information and Communication Studies Research Collection

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