This is a series of reports on how research at Oxford Brookes University has had a positive effect outside of the academic world in industry, commerce, politics, and education.
The reports are primarily written as part of research assessment exercises run by the UK Government, for example the Research Excellence Framework 2014 (REF 2014)
For information about the Oxford Brookes Impact Analysis System please visit this webpage: http://www.brookes.ac.uk/research/impact-analysis-system/
Dr Lister’s pioneering research into people’s perceptions of safety in relation to anti-terrorism measures has significantly shaped and informed public and political debate in this complex and controversial area. Lister has co-authored submissions to the Home Office, provided a policy briefing to the National Assembly for Wales, hosted a workshop with representatives from ‘think tanks’ and government departments. Additionally, he has engaged with a variety of civil society/advocacy groups and published commentary (including by invitation) on this area of public policy. Lister has highlighted the negative experiences of a range of ethnic minority citizens, as well as demonstrating the merits of using evidence based research in a highly political and sensitive arena.
Research by Oxford Brookes University identified that teaching for inclusive challenge in primary science lessons, with an emphasis on classroom discussions, practical work and conceptual challenge, increased pupils‟ enthusiasm for science and also their attainment in the subject. Led by Helen Wilson, David Coates and Jenny Mant, research insights have been used to produce evidence-based professional development for primary school teachers. This has been delivered to thousands of teachers, through training events and programmes, through a dedicated website, and through training led by Local Authority advisors who have chosen to disseminate our materials. The impact on the teachers‟ practice has been to encourage pupils‟ higher order thinking in science lessons through an emphasis on questioning, discussion and practical scientific enquiry. The ultimate impact has therefore been on the learning experiences of school pupils.
The Duckworth/Lewis Method Professional Edition, is the standard adopted globally by the International Cricket Council, for resetting the total run target for interrupted (such as rain affected) limited-overs cricket matches, enabling fairer match outcomes benefitting the teams, their fans and the games’ regulatory bodies. The Professional Edition, applied universally in top-level cricket, is developed from research undertaken by Anthony Lewis, Oxford Brookes University, in collaboration with Frank Duckworth. The Professional Edition made advances over the original formula by improving the parameters where the total run target was above average. This refinement of the original D/L method led to the widespread publication, dissemination and endorsement of the D/L method Professional Edition and demonstrates the diverse applications of academic research.
Research insights from Oxford Brookes University’s Dr Daniela Treveri-Gennari on the practice of cinema-going in 1950s Italy has raised public awareness of the importance of autobiographical memories in the elderly as well as actively involved the elderly in reconstructing the history of an important time in Italian film industry. These benefits of the project were achieved through innovative British Academy funded research-led collaborations between Dr Daniela Treveri-Gennari (Oxford Brookes University) and colleagues at Exeter and Bristol Universities, working with Memoro (a non-profit initiative dedicated since 2007 to divulgate memories of people born before 1940), Rome City Council and the University of the Third Age. Dr Trevari-Gennari has joined with non-profit organisations to create a full map of post-war Italian cinema which includes: oral history of cinema-going; programming dataset; the first topographical charting of cinemas; and the first extensive reviews of popular press of the time.
The impact detailed here demonstrates how, through his work with Historic Royal Palaces and Goat and Monkey and Schtanhaus theatre companies, Professor Tom Betteridge has helped to inform and influence the relationship between historical, literary and performance-based research with visitor experience at a major heritage site. Through the research-led collaboration between Oxford Brookes and Edinburgh Universities, Betteridge has enhanced public interaction with Tudor dramatic culture, developed visitors’ imaginative appreciation of Tudor cultural history and produced new modes of visitor and audience engagement. This work has enriched visitor numbers at Hampton Court Palace and also contributed to Historic Royal Palaces’ research policies and public engagement strategy.
Researchers from Oxford Brookes University have significantly contributed towards driving improvements to teaching and learning through an evidence-based approach. They have influenced practice and policies, whilst challenging public perceptions about the impact of education. Through their partnership with the University of Westminster, the Westminster Centre for Excellence in Teacher Training has improved teaching and learning in the Learning and Skills Sector, engaged with the design and delivery of enterprise education programmes for Further Education leaders and championed the status of vocational education. They have actively contributed to public debates and their research continues to be disseminated and used in training throughout the UK.
Professor David Nash defines blasphemy as the ‘attacking, wounding and damaging of religious beliefs’. His research into the history of blasphemy has been widely consulted and has highlighted the significant importance of the subject in the contemporary world. This has led to the re-examining of the law and arguments for repeal. He has been pro-actively involved in the debate about blasphemy repeal in England for some time prior to 2008 and also as an active consultant in the Irish Republic, advising NGO’s and speaking on their behalf to members of Parliament, international bodies after this date. He also liaised with the United Nations Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Religion and was nominated to sit on the Irish Government’s constitutional convention to consider the matter.
Steered by Professor David Fell of Oxford Brookes University, Physiomics plc, an Oxford-based biotechnology innovation company has, since 2008, firmly established itself as a leading light in systems biology approaches to drug discovery and latterly in therapy design, demonstrable through contracts with three major international pharmaceutical companies. Through its strong advocacy of this approach the sector has invested in and adopted new computational biology processes. As Physiomics has continued to grow, it has expanded its own specialist research team, in many cases recruiting scientists trained within Fell’s Brookes-based research group.
The Impacts Assessment Unit (IAU) at Oxford Brookes University has pioneered research on the local socio-economic impacts of major power station projects. Resultant insights have included:
• Increasing focus on socio-economic impacts in the assessments of such projects;
• Use of associated planning techniques and mitigation measures; and
• Use of the research by wide range of stakeholders, including developers, local communities, local authorities and various agencies (e.g. health, education etc).
Within the REF period these insights have been deployed in new power station impact research, recently (2011-2013) forming part of the successful EDF (international electricity utility company www.edf.com) application to the Infrastructure Planning Commission (IPC) (now National Infrastructure Directorate within the UK Planning Inspectorate (PINS)) to build a new nuclear power station Hinkley Point C (Somerset), plus consultation studies for a new nuclear power station Sizewell C (Suffolk).
Dr Alberto Mira’s (Reader, Oxford Brookes University 1999-Present) research bridges the gap between academic studies and ideas within the gay movement and non-homophobic media needing concepts and evidence to construct discourse. Dr Mira’s work on cultural history of homosexuality and gay authorship and spectatorship have had an impact on public perceptions. Dr Mira’s work has also been used in non-academic writers’ conferences, librarians’ associations and a number of gay groups. Key areas explored by Dr Mira’s work includes: gay vs queer paradigms, appropriation as a mechanism of gay spectatorship, gender as a cultural position, how gendered voices are constructed and articulated textually, ideology and construction of gender images, spectator’s investment in gay characters, reading and interpreting gender in film, gay subtext, camp. Dr Mira’s work has engaged with academic debates and illustrated them in divulgative talks and articles.