Background to RaISE

As part of the development of the University’s research strategy, an audit of research support across the University was carried out by Uniac, the University’s auditors, in the summer of 2016.  The audit concluded that the current research support system would be unable to support Keele’s future research ambitions, noting a mixture of uncoordinated devolved and central support provision, a lack of clarity over roles and responsibilities and a lack of planning and process related to the provision of research support.

The recommendation was to develop a single, cohesive and integrated research support team able to work across the institution, with clearly documented processes, roles and responsibilities – this led to the development of the RaISE project.

The Raise Team now enables there to be more targeted support available for project development at faculty level than previously, with dedicated teams based in local hubs.  Communities of practice will be formed amongst the research support team, which will allow the sharing of expertise across the faculty-based research support staff.  Working in teams will also allow resources to be shared across the faculties more effectively and allow support to be prioritised in a faculty during times of unusually high demand.  Better co-ordinated research support systems will also allow interdisciplinary research opportunities to be highlighted earlier and responded to more effectively, reducing potential duplication of effort.

The research development staff have had their roles focused much more on helping academics to realise their research ambitions, taking away many of their contractual and general administrative responsibilities. This should allow for much more rapid response to enquiries and provision of support.