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Bonfire of the inanities: Reducing researchers’ admin burden

Image: Jake Archibald [CC BY 2.0], via Flickr

The Government wants to make applications easier but how would this best be achieved?

There’s a lot been said already about the removal of Pathways to Impact from UK Research and Innovation applications, both in these pages and elsewhere. Although I’m reassured by some of the reaction from impact experts whose views I respect, I’m still not sure it’s a good idea.

It is worth noting that the government announcement about the new policy characterised the Pathways to Impact statement as a “requirement to precisely forecast the long-term benefits of projects that often have unpredictable results”. This is not a characterisation that I recognise and it’s never a good sign in any field when a policy change announcement misrepresents the former policy. UKRI’s argument for this change appears to be that Pathways have been so successful that they’re no longer needed. Which…well, let’s hope that’s right.

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