Insightful research that shapes decision taking on today’s wicked policy problems
Research assessment & research impact
I have over 20 years of experience assessing the impact and cost-effectiveness of research. For example, in 2000 I led the first project to propose the use of clinical guidelines as an impact indicator, a use which is widespread today. Working with colleagues at RAND Europe and the HERG at Brunel University, I led a series of studies measuring the economic returns of biomedical and health research that were very influential in informing spending reviews in the UK. In 2013, I led a project that recommended the use of case studies to assess the impact of research – this work was used to inform the design of the Research Excellence Framework in the UK.
Freedom of expression
Recently I have been interested in freedom of expression as a research topic in its own right. In 2019 King’s published the most extensive survey undertaken in the UK on what students think about free speech, academic freedom, freedom to protest and freedom from hate, and we have followed that up with qualitative research in student focus groups. This is an under-researched area with little empirical analysis and, given the political commentary on the topic, I am keen to contribute to filling that gap.
What the UK public wants from Brexit
In 2017 and 2018 I was involved in two ground-breaking studies that applied discrete choice modelling (a Nobel prize-winning microeconomic technique) to understand what the British public really wanted from Brexit. The only study of its type, it forced a representative sample of the general public to ‘trade’ on various aspects of Brexit, which demonstrated that membership of the Economic European Area (the so called ‘Norway model’) was the most optimal and preferred outcome. Whilst the study had no impact on the eventual outcome of Brexit, at the time it was influential, being cited in parliamentary debate and by various newspaper columnists.