In order for ILAS to be truly successful it is key that a set of minimums standards to achieve excellence apply.
These criteria include inputs and outputs, which ensure that the expectation bar for admission to the institute is high enough to guarantee quality membership, but not so high as to be unrealistic or unattainable. A set of five gauges will apply in order to adjudge whether a research centre, cluster grouping or individual academic can claim entitlement to membership of ILAS. These include an expectation of being research active at all times, proven evidence of capacity to generate income, doctoral students (both started and completed) as core inputs. Similarly, a set of outputs including the production of ‘high ranked’ peer reviewed journal papers and policy/practice impact are expected.
The criteria are presented graphically as:
Completing high quality research is often expensive and it is requisite that researchers generate income in order to fund projects. For the purposes of ILAS and based on benchmarked norms from other high quality social science research institutes, a target of half-year annual income per full time academic composite with their employment grading is expected. This figure should apply collectively in respect of cluster teams and research centres. In respect of contract research staff an expectation that full annual costs comprising full salary + 20% should apply as a guide figure.
Each full time academic, postdoctoral researcher or senior researcher is expected to have a complement of at least two PhD students at a given time. There is also an expectation that a completion rate of 1 PhD student every three/four years should apply, as a minimum requirement. Similarly this quota can be scaled up in respect of clusters and centres.
Each member of the Institute is expected to publish in peer-reviewed journals (either individually or coauthored papers) and ideally in ones which are highly ranked in the relevant field of discipline and his/her research interests. Thus there is an expectation of two peer-reviewed journal papers per person per annum, with an aggregate of five papers published on any three-year period. In addition members will produce books, book chapters, research reports and monographs on an ongoing basis
As ILAS is a translational research Institute with the intention of providing knowledge from research that makes a difference in Ireland and on the international stage, the production of ‘bench to bed to community’ research products is expected. In real terms this includes evidence of policy impact at government, leading international NGO and/or European and UN levels. Similarly the Institute will provide policy briefs, practice toolkits or other metrics that can be applied in the field. Importantly in this regard a strong level of connectivity with the Community Knowledge Initiative (CKI) our demonstration programme within ILAS is expected. Thus an array of evidence of policy and practice engagement based on research evidence produced by ILAS members will be required.
Membership by Compensation and Provisional Membership
Whereas members both individually, at cluster or centre level may not meet full requirements across all criteria and be stronger in some than others over a three-year review period – a method of fulfillment by compensation may apply. This will be scrutinized as part of the three-year review system (see details below). Similarly new members joining the Institute who are deemed initially to not meet all requirements and can be described as ‘promising’ may be deemed to be provisional members, offered a longer time period to meet Institute criteria requirements and provided with mentoring supports.
ILAS and all its individual members will be subject to a three-year review exercise. Based on an international best practice benchmarking model this process will include a self assessment aspect as well as scrutiny from the ILAS International Board (led by its Chairperson) and expert associates with knowledge in the field of the interests of members coopted for the review exercise. Voices from children families older adults and persons with a disability will also be included as scrutinisers. Prospectively a set of ‘three year goals’ for ILAS will be set as a result of the review and detailed in the audit report compiled by the International Board.
Engagement and participation from ILAS members requires an ongoing commitment to complete high quality research and related activities. It is reasonable to assume that within this context and where possible adequate support and non-pay incentives are made available to members. The ILAS Management Committee in collaboration with the office of the Vice President for Research and NUI Galway UMT will seek to ensure such reciprocity is applied. A forthcoming document from ILAS will outline mechanisms for this process in more detail.
For further informatin on becoming a member, and obtain an application form, please contact email@example.com