The UKRISS Steering Board met for the first time at King’s College London on 11th May. The Steering Board (SB) has ten members giving a wide representation of key stakeholders across the HE sector. The SB includes the JISC RIM Programme Manager, representatives of funding bodies including HEFCE, RCUK, NERC, ESRC, MRC, as well as representatives of charities funding research including Wellcome Trust and Association of Medical Research Charities (AMRC). The SB also includes a PVC-Research, the Head of HE at the British Library and the chairman of ARMA.
The SB has an important advisory role for the project. The main responsibilities are to provide guidance on the strategic direction and goals, review and validate the plans and methodologies used, provide feedback on key outputs and advise on emerging difficulties and issues.
The SB was presented with pre-final versions of the stakeholder analysis, landscape study, dissemination plan and outline plan for requirements gathering.
The SB discussed the landscape and scope of the project. The SB agreed that the landscape around the UKRISS project is complex, rapidly-changing and influenced by a range of factors beyond research information management technology e.g. policy, strategy, economic. SB members suggested strategies to help define the scope for what the project should aim to achieve within this landscape. Recommendations were to:
· Identify unmet needs or barriers/inefficiencies that might be removed.
· Prioritise an understanding of (CRIS or CRIS-like) systems already in existence.
· Be clear about whether UKRISS will focus on tracking research and/or reporting on final outputs.
· Be clear which issues/barriers/inefficiencies identified would be resolved by UKRISS.
· Define UKRISS in the context of related projects such as DESCRIBE (Exeter-led project on research impact evidence), CERIF in Action, IRIOS-2, other JISC activities, project Snowball, RCUK activities etc.
· Work towards defining a clear value proposition and target this at the Institute-level stakeholder rather than the funder (to promote uptake).
· Ensure this value proposition was compatible with all key stakeholder groups, including funders, but was ultimately focussed on reducing the burden on researchers and institutions.