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Collaborative working practices: Mind the Gap
A new one-year research study has been launched to investigate collaborative research practices between academic researchers and practitioners.
Using the context of heritage science, The National Archives, the Centre for Sustainable Heritage (UCL), Tate and the University of Exeter will work together with other UK and international bodies to investigate the 'rigour and relevance' gap between research and practice.
About the project
'Mind the Gap: Rigour and Relevance in Heritage Science Research' is funded by the UK AHRC/EPSRC Science and Heritage Programme (SHP). It will examine issues arising from the work of SHP research clusters indicating that differences in culture, expectations and language between academic researchers and practitioners can promote or impede closer collaboration and affect the impact of publicly funded research.
'Mind the Gap' will consider arts and humanities disciplines such as linguistics, social anthropology and history, to explore the attitudes of stakeholders to collaborative research. The findings will be published as a framework of recommendations for policy-makers, heritage institutions and practitioners, as well as academic institutions and researchers, on how to improve the quality of collaborative research and increase the impact of publicly funded research.
Among the key questions to be addressed are:
- If there is indeed a 'rigour and relevance' gap in heritage science research, how is it distinct from other similar fields?
- What communication and other barriers impede closer working between researchers and practitioners?
- How can the experience of other disciplines help to bridge the gap and establish mutually beneficial collaboration?
- What framework is needed to bring together practitioner and research cultures?
The study, to be carried out between February 2013 and January 2014, will:
- identify barriers to communication between academic disciplines, practitioner and specialist communities, building on evidence from the SHP research clusters
- explore the contribution that arts and humanities disciplines can make to improving the effectiveness of cross-disciplinary working
- investigate the attitudes of participants in the UK heritage science field to collaborative research and practices
- publish a Green Paper setting out a framework for collaborative research in heritage science
- disseminate the findings widely