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18 November 2017
Defining the Field
Quality assessment and assurance: Sound evidence for sound policy-making
Defining the Field

A natural concern for university administrators, university stakeholders as well as funding agencies is the assessment and assurance of research-quality. They need to ensure that the evidence that is presented is academically sound.Trust in the research community to a large extent depends on sound quality assurance and assessment processes. Such activities inform funding decisions for projects, teams or even universities, the appointment of researchers, career advancement of researchers and crucially - what is published and disseminated.   And when the research evidence is specifically directed toward influencing policy it has to be properly contextualised, relevant and accessible,  in order to have the research findings taken up.

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Linking Research to Policy and Practice: assessing the strength of evidence
Defining the Field

The focus of Research Uptake is on ensuring that research is taken up in policy or practice. The quality of research is therefore very important, as is the extent to which the research is grounded in and contributes to the broader body of evidence in a particular area. The cost (human and financial) of making policy or practice recommendations that are not supported by the overall body of evidence can be high.

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Shifts in science policy, the new university, and its role
Defining the Field

This is the last blog in a series of five which review essays that together comprise a literature review on Perspectives and themes in knowledge utilisation, conducted for the DRUSSA programme by CREST at the University of Stellenbosch. The other blogs, with links to the essays can be found at the bottom of this blog. The review, which will soon be coming out in book form, will appeal to students, academics, policy makers, communication practitioners and those involved in the field of Research Uptake.

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DRUSSA Handbook Series Essay 2 Traditions of Knowledge Utilisation and the most influential models
Defining the Field

Research evidence can inform policy and practice in a variety of ways and through a number of different channels. An essay  by Dr Sara Grobbelaar and Dr Nelius Boshoff of CREST at the University of Stellenbosch discusses some of the models and  theories in this vast field, and this blog provides a outline of the areas discussed.

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DRUSSA Handbook Series Essay 5 Science Communication – an introduction to the theory and trends
Defining the Field

This blog, based on a paper by Marina Joubert of the Centre for Research on Evaluation Science and Technology (CREST)  discusses Science Communication and its role as part of Research Uptake.

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DRUSSA Handbook Series Essay 4 Stakeholder Engagement: a recipe for successful Research Uptake
Defining the Field

Stakeholder Engagement can play a critical role in ensuring that research is taken up in practice. It provides a comprehensive and holistic framework for identifying and engaging with key members of participant groups and target audiences.

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Knowledge, practice and policy: Some definitions

The concept paper that emerged from last year’s K* conference, Expanding Our Understanding of K*, contains some useful definitions. These are significant for DRUSSA, as we work with our 24 partner universities to strengthen institutional capacity for Research Uptake (RU) and Research Uptake Management (RUM). An enabling environment, together with mechanisms to accommodate and advance RUM are necessary if professional Research Uptake Managers are to get on with the business of getting research into use (see Building institutional capacity for Research Uptake). For our purposes, it is therefore necessary to translate and contextualise the K* thinking into the RUM discourse.

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Part 3: Research Uptake Policy series: Key heuristics, metaphors, theories and frameworks
Defining the Field

In Part Three of this  four-part “Research Uptake: Knowledge to Policy” blog series, Dr Sara Grobbelaar, DRUSSA  Researcher at CREST, considers two frameworks through which policy analysis can be done - Policy Networks and Communities, and Institutional Analysis and Development.

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K*: One year down the line

It is now more than a year since a group of knowledge practitioners from all over the world and from a range of sectors gathered in Ontario, Canada, for the first K* conference. Experts in the fields of knowledge brokering, knowledge management, knowledge transfer, knowledge exchange, knowledge translation, knowledge mobilisation and others met to find common ground on the scope of the knowledge field and to find ways to avoid its fragmentation and the duplication of resources.

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What is Research Uptake Management?

Research Uptake Management (RUM) is an emerging university management field with a practical, cost-effective and sustainable approach to getting research into use. It requires specialist individual capacity, aligned organisational structures and strategic management processes to optimise conditions for the dissemination, uptake and application of scientific evidence.

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K*? What are they talking about?

Much debate has been going on in recent months among intermediaries in the research and policy arena about what exactly is meant when we talk about knowledge brokering, knowledge management, knowledge mobilisation, knowledge translation and knowledge exchange. To bridge gaps in understanding, United Nations University Institute for Water, Environment and Health (UNU-INWEH) Knowledge Broker Alex Bielak coined the term K* (or KStar) as a catchall to describe the work and workers in the field.

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