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					Nottingham Trent University


Research Leave Scheme
Enhancing research-informed teaching


The University wishes both to enhance its understanding of the relationships between
research and enhanced teaching quality in line with its Research Strategy and to develop
projects that specifically link research and teaching. HEFCE has allocated a sum of
money to the University, linked to its Teaching Quality Enhancement Fund, to promote
the development of such work. As part of this work, the University is establishing a
Research Leave Scheme to enable colleagues to explore the relationships between their
research and their teaching.
Jenkins and Healey (2005) summarise typologies of the relationship between teaching
and research. The Research Leave Scheme aims to use one such typology as one of its
criteria for making awards. This is appended to this document at Appendix A.
The purpose of the Research Leave Scheme is to facilitate the development or
completion of research projects and papers with a view to their ultimate publication,
through the provision of periods of release from teaching duties. The funds can be used
to support new projects or to speed the delivery of existing work in this area.
Applications can be made by individuals or teams.
Research leave will be of a fixed duration of five weeks (i.e. half a term). When taken in
conjunction with a student vacation this should mean that staff get at least eight weeks
release from teaching, in which they can undertake a sustained period of research and
writing.

Details of the scheme
Initially two awards per College will be made. Research leave will:
       Be five weeks in length;
       Provide hourly paid/part time lecturing cover for up to ten hours per week;
       Be administered within each college.

Process
Individual colleges will determine the precise timescale to be followed in consultation
with the relevant Associate Dean for Research. The process of awarding research leave
will be as follows:
    1. Staff are invited to apply for a period of research leave and details of the scheme
       are made available. Applications are to be made within a fixed period.
    2. Applications must provide details of:
           o   Title of the research;
           o   Timescale for completion. Research leave should be completed by the end
               of July 2007 (the end of the current university financial year);
           o   Progress to date (if appropriate);
           o   Work to be undertaken during period of research leave;
           o   Applicability of research to enhancing teaching and learning;
           o   Planned output within the university (i.e. a paper for the annual teaching
               and learning conference) and externally (preferably specifying the journal
               or other output where publication is anticipated);
           o   Approval from the applicant’s ATL.




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Nottingham Trent University



    3. Applications will be evaluated by a College panel that includes at least one
       representative from each constituent school on the basis of the criteria set out
       below.
    4. Applications will be ranked and the top two applications selected.
The deadline for applications to the appropriate Associate Dean is Friday 15 December
2006. It is expected that decisions by the Colleges about the applications will be made
by the end of the second week in January.

Evaluation criteria
Panels will evaluate the applications they receive on the basis of the following criteria:
       Quality of the research (where funds are to be used for an existing research
        project).
       Quality of the prospective output.
       Contribution to the College’s research strategy.
       The extent to which the research is anticipated to enhance the quality of
        teaching, either through investigating pedagogic issues, or through the
        application of discipline-centred research to teaching (see Jenkins and Healey in
        appendix A for further detail).
       Developing and extending the research capability of the College.
The quality of the research refers to a review of any research already undertaken.
Normally panels will look for applications that provide a strong prospect of some form of
high quality external output. How this is judged will vary between Colleges and will
reflect the practice of different disciplines. Hence in some Colleges a high quality output
may be a refereed journal of international standing while in others it might be a research
monograph or book. The output would normally be one that is peer-reviewed in some
way. The contribution to a College’s research strategy will clearly reflect the College’s
priorities. Finally, panels may take into account the contribution that the period of the
research leave is likely to make to extending and enhancing the university’s objectives of
demonstrating clearly the links between research and teaching, and the research
capability of the College through bringing on and developing relatively new and
inexperienced researchers. Clearly the output must be research based. Research leave is
not to be used for the completion of textbooks and other types of teaching materials
unless they relate explicitly to the relationship between enhancing teaching and
research.

Monitoring and evaluation
A working party comprised of members of the University Research Committee and the
Academic Standards and Quality Committee will oversee the Research Leave Scheme.
The Scheme will be reviewed towards the conclusion of its first year of operation and
changes will made where appropriate for the launch of the second year of the Scheme’s
operation.

References
Jenkins, A. and Healey, M. (2005) Institutional strategies to link teaching and research,
The Higher Education Academy, York




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Nottingham Trent University



Appendix A
A typology of the relationship between teaching and research


Drawn directly from Jenkins and Healey (2005: 21)
Teaching can be research-led in the sense that the curriculum is structured around
subject content, and the content selected is directly based on the specialist research
interests of teaching staff; teaching is often based on a traditional ‘information
transmission’ model; the emphasis tends to be on understanding research findings
rather than research processes. Limited emphasis is placed on maximising the potential
positive impacts of teaching on research.
Teaching can be research-oriented in the sense that the curriculum places emphasis
as much on understanding the processes by which knowledge is produced as on learning
the codified knowledge that has been achieved; careful attention is given to the teaching
of inquiry skills and on acquiring a ‘research ethos’; the research experiences of teaching
staff are brought to bear in a more diffuse way.
[Note: at NTU we would expect that all higher education teaching was research-led and
research-oriented. We anticipate that the research leave is used to focus on one of the
following two, more sophisticated conceptions of the research-teaching nexus.]
Teaching can be research-based in the sense that the curriculum is largely designed
around inquiry-based activities, rather than on the acquisition of subject content; the
experiences of staff in processes of inquiry are highly integrated into the student
learning activities; the division of roles between teacher and student is minimised; the
scope for two-way interactions between research and teaching is deliberately exploited.
Teaching can be research-informed in the sense that it draws consciously on
systematic inquiry into the teaching and learning process itself.




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