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Caribbean researcher experiences with societal impact: A case study of the Research and Development Impact Fund.

Richards-Kennedy, Stacy (2018) Caribbean researcher experiences with societal impact: A case study of the Research and Development Impact Fund. EdD thesis, University of Sheffield.

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Gaining a more in-depth understanding of how research and knowledge can contribute to societal change is essential to the effective execution of any university’s mission. At The University of the West Indies St. Augustine Campus in Trinidad and Tobago (T&T), the RDI Fund provides grants to promote research that addresses national and regional development issues. This research is expected to generate societal impact but the pathways and processes through which knowledge from these projects leads to impact have never before been investigated. This case study of the RDI Fund is complemented by embedded case studies of selected RDI Fund projects and delves into the operational dynamics of knowledge flows and processes. In so doing, it exposes the need for a conceptual framework which captures the enabling and oppositional forces that support or inhibit effective and efficient knowledge flows in research to societal impact processes. Expanding on Meagher, Lyall and Nutley’s (2008) model, my conceptual framework confronts the range of factors and forces at the micro, meso and macro levels, which serve as countercurrents to anticipated flows of knowledge. This research study thus calls into question the appropriateness of research impact measurement in contexts with fragile research ecosystems and underdeveloped linkages between knowledge intermediaries, as is the case in T&T. Processes and mechanisms for knowledge utilization and knowledge brokerage are vital to achieve sustained societal impact and thus, need to be enhanced. Moreover, this research study contends that a focus on the ‘micropolitcs of research’ as well as renewed emphasis on the ‘enlightenment effect’ of knowledge are essential to navigate and mitigate the oppositional forces present in research communities. By generating more effective and efficient knowledge flows, UWI researchers can strengthen the various pathways through which university research can contribute to societal impact in the Caribbean.  

Item Type: Thesis (EdD)
Keywords: research impact; societal impact; development impact; knowledge brokerage; micropolitics; knowledge flows; knowledge energy; tacit knowledge.
Academic Units: The University of Sheffield > Faculty of Social Sciences (Sheffield) > School of Education (Sheffield)
The University of Sheffield > Faculty of Social Sciences (Sheffield)
Depositing User: Stacy Richards-Kennedy
Date Deposited: 11 Mar 2019 15:45
Last Modified: 11 Mar 2019 15:45
URI: http://etheses.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/23092

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