Terms of reference

The Research Committee is a sub-committee of the Academic Board and will report to Academic Board at least annually.

1. The Committee shall develop the research strategy of the School, within the framework approved by Council and set out in the Strategic Plan, and shall keep under review the research activities of the School in order to encourage and facilitate research of the highest quality.

2. The Committee shall have overall responsibility for ensuring that research undertaken by members of the School is conducted in an ethically sound manner, in accordance with the School’s policy on research ethics and research misconduct.

3. The Committee shall oversee and promote the development and integration of the School’s knowledge exchange and impact strategy with its commitment to research excellence..
4. The Committee shall oversee the School's preparations for all government research assessment exercises and the work of the REF Strategy Committee.
5. The Committee shall encourage and facilitate the highest quality research and in particular shall:

(a) seek to initiate and to secure means for the development of research;

(b) have the right to receive for assessment all new proposals for research or for extensions of existing research projects, which involve commitments on School funds and resources, other than the personal research of the staff or research financed from the Staff Research Fund;

(c) make recommendations to the Director concerning proposed applications by the School or by members of the staff to outside bodies for research funds for which, if granted, the School would be accountable.

6. The Committee shall be responsible for ensuring effective governance structures are in place for research and the use of all research funds and grants for which the School is accountable. In particular it shall:
(a) have the right to receive for assessment annual reports on the use of all research funds and grants for which the School is accountable;
(b) refine research governance and quality measures to monitor school-wide research activities, including advising on and approving departmental peer review systems for research grant proposals;
(c) undertake regular reviews of all Research Centres on behalf of the School, in conjunction with appropriate external assessors;
(d) receive and consider reports on Departmental Research Units (DRUs) undertaken by the relevant Departmental Research Committee on a three-yearly basis or more frequently as the Research Committee shall require;
(e) have the right to conduct reviews of DRUs on its own initiative or as a result of a request from a HOD or Departmental Research Committee;
(f) support HODs in their responsibility for managing Departmental Research Units;
(g) recommend to the Director that a DRU or Research Centre shall be disbanded where its governance structure and / or research is not meeting School expectations for accountability and research quality;
(h) can recommend to Academic Board and Council that a Research Centre be disbanded if its governance structure and / or research is not meeting School expectations for accountability and research quality.
7. The Committee shall have overall responsibility for the development of the School’s strategy and policy in relation to postgraduate research student activity.** This shall include:
(a) developing the LSE PhD and considering its place within the School’s overall research strategy and the infrastructure for interdisciplinary research;
(b) overseeing the School’s approach to skills training for research degree students, including the Doctoral Training Centre;
(c) developing the School’s strategic approach to PhD studentships including in response to Research Council initiatives – this may include submitting bids to the Research Councils and monitoring Research Council funded programmes if the bids are successful;
(d) assuming overall responsibility for operating the LSE PhD programme, including determining the number of scholarships available in each Department/Institute and by overseeing the work of the PhD Scholarships Awards Panel, which shall report to the Research Committee on an annual basis or more frequently as required;
(e) considering proposals for PhD activity in collaboration with other institutions, including in response to Research Council or European Commission initiatives;
(f) ensuring that research undertaken by research degree students is undertaken in an ethically sound manner, including with regard to integrity in data management;
(g) assuming responsibility for developing the status of research degree students within the School.

MODE OF OPERATION
Research Committee meets twice per term. Working groups may be formed to undertake specific tasks under the Committee’s terms of reference and ad hoc items which may periodically arise.
All sub-committees and working groups shall operate under the strategic direction of the Research Committee to which they shall report on an annual basis or more frequently as the Research Committee requires and to which they can make recommendations.
The subcommittees of the Research Committee are:
• Research Ethics Committee
The working groups of the Research Committee are
• Knowledge Exchange and Impact Strategy Group
• Research Development Panel
• REF Strategy Committee**
Operational responsibility for research ethics will be discharged through a sub-committee, the Research Ethics Committee.
Operational responsibility for research development will be discharged through a working group, the Research Development Panel.

Operational responsibility for developing and implementing knowledge exchange and impact activities will be discharged through a working group, the Knowledge Exchange and Impact Strategy Group.

*At the broadest level the division of responsibilities between senior committees for research degrees activity divides as follows:
APRC – student number;, fees; portfolio of PhD programmes
Research Committee – highest level strategy; response to Research Councils; collaboration; ethics
Academic and Student Affairs Committee – quality assurance, based on relevant performance indicators e.g. submission rates; quality enhancement; and the student experience
Research Degrees Sub-committee – regulations including interpretation of regulations; programme and course regulations; individual student case work
PhD Scholarships Awards Panel – studentships to students

**note that REFSC is currently designated a sub-committee; Research Committee would like this to become a working group

 

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