The challenges and opportunities of the Europe of Knowledge run alongside the competing requirements of peer review and regular ‘research assessments’ for many academics, not least in the UK. In this personal reflection, Julie Smith considers the impact of the Europe of Knowledge on research for social scientists and how its requirements fit with a need to demonstrate excellence and impact both in academic and practical terms. She notes that there is often a tension between attempts to deliver ‘excellence’ and ‘impact’, even within a context where both these concepts and the broader idea of ‘knowledge’ are difficult to measure. On balance, researchers are increasingly integrated into European networks and aspire to excellence but the constraints of funding, both nationally and at the EU level, mean that blue-skies research is not often possible.
Europe of Knowledge; excellence; impact; international networks; research funding
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