Social science research impact and career development

The British Academy - Evaluations of the Postdoctoral and Mid-Career Fellowship Schemes

We undertook surveys and in-depth interviews to help support the British Academy to understand the imact of their Postdoctoral and Mid-Career Fellowship schemes.

What we did

  • We undertook counterfactual interviews to help better understand the different impact trajectories of those who received a fellowship.
  • We undertook surveys and follow up depth interviews to provide a powerful narrative of impact.
  • We consulted senior University stakeholders to help shape recommendations for the future of the scheme.

What we learned

Fellowship programmes can make a significant difference to the impact and career trajectories of academics, irrespective of their career stage.
We learned that explaining the assessment criteria for grants is essential to driving up the quality of applications and subsequent research.
The Academy has significant prestige as a research funder which results in benefits flowing through to fellowship holders including increased confidence and the ability to leverage additional funding. This helped fellows achieve wide ranging impacts.
“The evaluations were carried out in a thoroughly professional manner and according to a comprehensive programme which included online surveys of current and former award-holders and in-depth interviews with institutions many of whom had hosted the fellows. We were pleased with the analysis that Cloud Chamber carried out and the presentation of the findings both orally to our Research & Higher Education Committee and in written form through the production of executive summaries and final reports.”
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