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Dr Diana Newport-Peace

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Dr Diana Newport-Peace
Dr Diana Newport-Peace

Internal News - 25 July 2006

RAE has new dedicated post

As next year’s submission to Research Assessment Exercise 2008 approaches, the University’s preparations are for the first time coordinated by a new Research and Information Manager.

Dr Diana Newport-Peace joined the Vice-Chancellor's Office at the end of March and is currently conducting a dry run exercise to ensure that mechanisms are in place for compiling the submission in earnest next year.

The RAE is a nationwide process which requires universities to submit a range of statistical and qualitative information about their research activity in the past six years. Panels of expert reviewers assess the submissions and the funding councils use the results to inform the distribution of quality rated (QR) funding for research.

New rules developed since the last RAE in 2001 have made the assessment process more complex than ever. It is hoped that Diana’s appointment will help departments come to terms with the new rules and strengthen the university’s submission as a whole.

With the first milestone of preparations nearing completion, Diana said: “I’m grateful to everyone who has contributed to the dry run preparations, alongside their usual workload. People have been amazingly committed as well as friendly and enthusiastic.”

Diana was previously a member of HEFCE’s research policy team where she helped develop the funding body’s early thinking on RAE 2008. Her academic background is in French literature and language and she has a PhD from the University of Queensland in Australia, where she lived for 14 years.

In addition to work on the RAE submission, Diana is tasked with a broader remit relating to information management. “It’s about how we produce and use management information and what more could be done to optimise the evidence used to inform decision making,” she said.

Away from research, Diana is in training for her first half marathon, on 17 September in Bristol. She is running in aid of the Make a Wish Foundation for terminally ill children and is hoping to raise several hundred pounds for the charity. Please get in touch if you would like to sponsor her.