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Dr Claire Donovan

Dr Claire Donovan
Reader - Science Policy & Research Governance


Qualifications: DPhil, MA, Social and Political Thought (Sussex), BA (Hons) Philosophy (Soton)

Claire Donovan is a Reader in Brunel Business School, and joined Brunel University in 2010. She has pioneered cross-disciplinary research on research evaluation and policy, including assessing the wider impacts of research on society, and the governance of the humanities, arts, and social sciences within science systems. In 2006, Australia’s Chief Scientist appointed her Chair of the Australian Government’s Technical Working Group on Research Impact, tasked with recommending the optimum methodology for assessing the wider economic, social, environmental and cultural impact of university research. She championed the use of case studies and narratives alongside robust impact indicators. The work of this group influenced the design of the ‘impact’ component of the UK’s 2014 Research Excellence Framework.

Claire previously held research and teaching positions at the Research School of Social Sciences, The Australian National University; Nuffield College, Oxford University; and The Open University. Claire has been a visiting fellow at the Centre for Research in the Arts, Social Sciences and Humanities (CRASSH), Cambridge University; Wolfson College, Cambridge University; the Science, Technology and Society Program, John F Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University; the Department of Government, London School of Economics; Department of Education, University of Oxford; the Science, Technology and Society Cluster, National University of Singapore; and the Science Policy Research Unit (SPRU), University of Sussex. In 2003-05 Claire was an Elected Associate Member of the Sociology Group, Nuffield College, Oxford University. In 2013 she was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts.

Areas of expertise

  • Research funding, evaluation, and policy
  • Assessing research impact (all fields)
  • Higher Education policy
  • Governance of humanities, arts, and social sciences within science systems
  • Evaluation and metrics as technologies of governance
  • Gendered 'excellence' in Higher Education
  • Epistemology
  • Sociology of Knowledge
  • Assessing the value of culture
  • Forensic bibliometrics
  • Case studies and narrative methods


Departmental Director for Postgraduate Research; University Senate;  University Education Committee;  Brunel Board of Arts; University Academic Appeals Panel.

Newest selected publications

Donovan, C. (2019) 'For Ethical 'Impactology''. Journal of Responsible Innovation, 6 (1). pp. 78 - 83. ISSN: 2329-9460 Open Access Link

Journal article

Donovan, C. (Accepted) 'Assessing the Broader Impacts of Publicly-funded Research', in Simon, D., Canzler, W. and Kuhlmann, S. (eds.) Handbook of Science and Public Policy. Edward Elgar.

Book chapter

Donovan, C. and Gulbrandsen, M. (2018) 'Introduction: Measuring the impact of arts and humanities research in Europe'. Research Evaluation, 27 (4). pp. 285 - 286. ISSN: 1471-5449 Open Access Link

Journal article

Jenkins, F., Keane, H. and Donovan, C. (2018) 'Work (still) in Progress: Establishing the value of gendered innovations in the social sciences'. Women's Studies International Forum, 72. pp. 104 - 108. ISSN: 0277-5395 Open Access Link

Journal article

Jenkins, F., Keane, H. and Donovan, C. (2018) 'Introduction: Gendered innovations in the social sciences'. WOMENS STUDIES INTERNATIONAL FORUM. ISSN: 0277-5395 Open Access Link

Journal article
More publications(34)