Research Excellence Framework (REF)
This year, CER made an important contribution to the Westminster Business School (REF) submission, with a total of:
- 17 peer-reviewed publications rated 3* and three at 4* across six members submitted
- over £650,000 in research income
- an impact case study on judicial mediation in employment tribunals
Early in the latest academic year, Angela Wright, working with staff in CER and the Human Resource Management department, was awarded a contract as part of the Royal Society's programme Leading the way: increasing diversity in the scientific workforce
Angela has done a fantastic job managing this programme of work and the report launched at a Royal Society meeting has helped to raise the profile of Westminster Business School with several British institutions.
This is just one of a number of ongoing contracts at the CER. Franz Buscha, PhD Director for Westminster Business School, has been working with an Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC)-funded study of social mobility.
Giorgio Di Pietro's work on the ERASMUS exchange programme has also generated a lot of interest, as it suggests that study abroad programmes boost labour market careers.
Peter Urwin secured a further two-year extension to a contract with HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) providing econometric services, and in late 2013 completed a project for the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) and the Department for Business, Innovation & Skills (BIS), that considered ways of capturing returns to training for the unemployed.
This last piece of work was important in our successful bid for two subsequent BIS projects in early 2014, Measuring the Impact Of Skills and Training Interventions on the Unemployed and Estimating the Labour Market Returns to Learning in English FE.
Both projects are being undertaken with the CER partners at Fischer Family Trust, and Stefan Speckesser at the Institute for Employment Studies (IES). These will likely have high impact and are worth just over £200k. We welcomed August Cerqua, appointed in April to work with Peter on these projects.
Much of CER's work takes place at the research and policy nexus, and in September 2013 we brought together over 100 people from the policy, practice and academic worlds to synthesis research, practice and policy in the ESRC funded seminar series Managing Conflict and Resolving of Disputes.
The event at Westminster Business School was an enormous success, with David Lipsky (Cornell University), John Forth (National Institute of Economic and Social Research) and Ed Sweeney (Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service) delivering keynotes, and helping to further strengthen the reputation of Westminster Business School in this area of research.
Sabine D'Costa is another new face in the CER, joining us last summer. Sabine has already worked with colleagues on a cost benefit analysis of intermediate rental accommodation for the Dolphin Square foundation. This report has been a great success, with CER and Economic and Quantitative Methods Department (EQM) staff guests of honour at the launch last week, on the terrace overlooking the Thames at the House of Lords.
We also say hello to Hiba Hussein and Gisa Izadi, who have joined us this year as PhD students, and say goodbye to Matthew Gould and Olivia Birchall, who successfully completed their Viva Voce examinations last month, being awarded PhDs subject to minor revisions.
Finally, we must note the work of Emanuelle Walkowiak and Anna Conte, who were both important in ensuring the strength of CER's REF submission and are forming an important part of our European strategy, as we try to build on their links with the Max Planck Institute in Jena and a French version of the CER to expand into Europe.