Launch of Science and Technology Facilities Council e-VAL

The following announcement was made today by STFC:

To continue demonstrating the case for investment in science, it is vital that STFC has accurate data on the outputs of our research funding. Following a successful pilot scheme, we are rolling out the e-Val system to ensure that we have a robust, repeatable method to collect this information.

We will use the e-Val system to collect data on impacts arising from grants which we fund in our core areas of Astronomy, Space science exploitation, and Particle and Nuclear Physics. We will also collect data from areas such as Facility Research and Development, Science in Society, High Performance Computing, Follow-on Funding, Innovation Partnerships, and Project Research and Development.

We have commissioned the STFC e-Val on-line system for gathering data related to the impacts from STFC-funded research. This is modelled closely on the system already in operation by MRC. At this stage, STFC e-Val and MRC e-Val exist as stand-alone systems, and it is therefore possible that a researcher with funding from both Councils would need to log into both systems. We recognise that repeated requests for information which is essentially the same, or very similar, puts a strain on resources and anticipate that in the future, a cross-Council Research Outcomes system will address this. In the meantime, we believe that alignment of the process and architecture of the two systems will at least ensure that the burden on researchers is minimised.

We have tailored our question set to reflect the nature of our businesses. The questions are focused on the following key areas:

1. Publications

2. Collaborations and Partnerships

3. Further Funding for Your Research Group

4. Next Destination and Recruitment

5. Dissemination to Non-Academic Audiences

6. Technology Development

7. Intellectual Property and Licensing

8. Spin Outs

9. Awards and Recognition

10. Knowledge and Future Potential

Following completion of a pilot study in July 2010, we are now preparing to run the system for all grants ending 2009 onwards, including those which are current. This will start later in February 2011, running for a period of 8 weeks. Data from the pilot has been retained, so that users who participated should only need to check and amend existing information. The system will be open for update for 8 weeks each year, with read-only access to the PI for the rest of the time. It will then be an annual exercise which allows each PI to review the existing data and add new information, and will run for the lifetime of the grant and for up to 5 years afterwards. In this way we will be able to build up a picture of the outputs and track progress as the grant matures. Project staff are strongly urged to complete the exercise, as failure to provide data will make it harder to capture the outputs and impacts of research.

Further information can be found at the following links: e-Val Website:

http://www.stfc.ac.uk/About%20STFC/18664.aspx

Principals of Use:

http://www.stfc.ac.uk/resources/pdf/eValPofU.pdf

For STFC grantholders: please do not try logging in to the site until you receive instructions in a separate email. If you have any specific questions, please contact us by email at: evaluation@stfc.ac.uk

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One Response to Launch of Science and Technology Facilities Council e-VAL

  1. James Makepeace says:

    Is this e-Val system actually science … or just another “magnum opus” of “admin” created by the ever spreading cancer of STFC bureaucracy ?
    How much has it cost so far and how much will it cost in the future ?
    … and while we are on the subject… How much of STFC’s overall budget (excluding the convenient cloak of Large Facilities like CERN) goes on actual working research scientists, and how much goes on bureaucracy, management and executive salaries, bonuses and expense accounts ? bWhich is the greater amount and by how much ?
    … and how does this set of figures compare with the data from 20 years ago ?
    Interesting… !
    Answer… If you want to do well, don’t be a research scientist with STFC… get a position in STFC executive arm… then hire in all your family and friends to join you !
    Free government money for all those snouts in the trough… (until our dozy Government wakes up to what’s going on !)

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