Mr Jason Edwards (Funding Development Officer, Bournemouth University)
Mrs Eva Papadopoulou (Funding Development Officer, Bournemouth University); Mrs Kerri Jones (Funding Development Officer, Bournemouth University); Mrs Alice Brown (Funding Development Officer, Bournemouth University)
Research and Knowledge Exchange Officers (RKEO) previously managed the research project life-cycle from conception (pre-award) to completion (post-award). The process did not facilitate good practice or allow officers to work to their full potential. To evaluate the success of the restructure, the service excellence programme was created, in which the experiences of academics’ interactions with RKEO were analysed. A two-staged longitudinal exercise involved interviews of academics at the start of the departmental restructure and one year after. Stage one found that academics had issues with visibility and responsiveness within RKEO. The outputs from small theme-based teams included practical tools like the project pack, whereas others focused more upon improving communication by creating drop in sessions, amongst others. Feedback at stage 2 showed a vast improvement in satisfaction, with increased positive comments. Service excellence has now been embedded and has improved relationships with academics and enhanced funding outcomes.