What is IRRP2016?

IRRP2016 is an independent peer assessment of the quality of research at NUI Galway. 

What will be assessed? 

The three highest quality publications from all permanent academic staff, a School Research Environment Report and a number of Impact Case Studies of research impact will be assessed for each School. 

What is the period of assessment? 

Publications must have been originally published within the pre-defined five year period. Impact Case Studies should have been completed or impacted society within this same five year period. 

Who will be assessed? 

All sixteen Schools. Colleges, Research Institutes or individual academics will not be assessed directly. 

How will quality be assessed? 

A number of independent reviewers will read and then assign ratings to each publication, Impact Case Study and Research Environment Report. Reviewers will also provide narrative feedback on strengths and recommendations for improvement. 
What do I need to do? 

Provide three of your highest quality publications over the five year period. You may also work with colleagues in creating a small number of 3-page Impact Case Studies (one per ten members of staff) and in creating one 10-page School Research Environment Report. 

What if I do not have the three research outputs? 

You may have personal circumstances that meant you could not produce three high quality research outputs. Submit the Research Outputs you have and then declare the personal circumstances for your reduced submission. This declaration can be emailed to an independent expert who will keep your information in strict confidence and will only report on all reasons given by the whole School, without attribution to any one individual. Those independent experts are Prof. Simoneta Manfredi and Prof Lucy Vickers of Oxford-Brooks University. They are mandated to take decisions necessary to protect individuals from having personal circumstances disclosed. 

Will my research be assessed accurately and without bias? 

At least two reviewers in your subject area will assess each of your research outputs and assign a quality rating. These reviewers will be experts in their field, experienced in research assessment.  Reviewers are asked to confirm that they have received equality, gender and unconscious bias training. 

Is IRRP2016 the same as REF2014 in the UK? 

IRRP2016 has similarities to REF2014(UK) but there are also significant differences. Similarities include peer-assessment and assigning ratings. The principle differences are that all NUI Galway academic staff will participate. In REF2014(UK) only staff with the highest quality research outputs are invited to participate. One of the effects of this is that it is impossible to compare quality ratings of Schools from both systems. Another effect is that NUI Galway can reasonably expect to see a wide distribution of ratings across all five rating categories. 

Who are the reviewers? 

The names of the four Overall Chairs are available. Overall Chairs select Panel Chairs who in turn will select a numbers or Reviewers (or Readers) for each subject area.  Panel Chairs and Readers will remain anonymous. Overall Chairs and Panel Chairs will visit NUI Galway twice annually to prepare for the research assessment and to deliver the results. Readers will conduct their assessment abroad and will not visit NUI Galway. 

Is my performance confidential? 

Yes. Reviewers will rate your three publications but will not return ratings to the University. Only aggregated ratings for all of your School or subject area will be returned. Reviewers are also asked to sign a confidentiality declaration. All original data will be destroyed by reviewers. 

Will there be other research assessments? 

Yes. Research assessment is already done by many Schools at NUI Galway on an annual basis. IRRP2016 is the first peer-assessment and will be followed by repeat assessments in the future. 

Why conduct a peer assessment? 

The Irish Universities Act, 1997 requires NUI Galway to periodically evaluate the quality of our activities using peer review. Research assessment is common practice in many University sectors abroad. During the first step of our research assessment in 2012, reviewers recommended a "second stage review of research outputs". 

Where can I get more information? 

Please contact your Head of School or Dean. The Quality Office may also be contacted for independent and confidential information and advice.