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Dr Gemma Derrick

Formerly at Lancaster University

PhD supervision

I am interested in receiving proposals in areas that relate to evaluation of research or higher education systems. These include projects that involve bibliometrics, scientometrics, politics of bibliometrics and research evaluation, unconscious bias in evacuation systems, national research performance audit systems, altmetrics, dynamics of research, research innovation and evaluation policies, peer review, societal impact (impact) and its assessment, as well as evidence informed policymaking for health and research policy. I am particularly interested in research that adopts an empirical approach utilising both qualitative and quantitative methodologies.


Gemma's research concentrates on science and innovation policy and its impacts.  These include on the health system, the culture of academic, knowledge production and universities more broadly.  She also conducts research into the evaluation of competing notions of research excellence in academia, including scientific impact, societal impact and interdisciplinary.

She specialises in evaluation systems in academia, in particular, peer review, research evaluation frameworks and university audit exercises. This includes the UK's Research Excellence Frameworks and similar conceptualisations in other countries within Europe, the US and Australia, especially for the health and medical research fields. She is also focused on the types of cultures the proliferation of these evaluation systems leave behind, how this influences how researchers work, and the types of knowledge produced.

Currently, Gemma is also involved in research investigating the role of gender and work-life balance in the productivity and reward systems of research; as well as the influence in bias within evaluation processes.

Her research employs a unique mixed-methods approach which includes the combination of interviews, observation studies, bibliometrics, econometrics and/or social network analysis.  She is particularly interested in survival and event history analysis, and its application to research productivity of individual academics and research fields as well as to text-visualisation using VOSviewer.

Gemma is also a leading member of the COMbINE network (Complementary Methods in Evaluation Research) which is a network of leading international researchers in research evaluation who are committed to the promotion and adoption of alternative and mixed methodologies within the field.  She is also a UK-representative for the Eu-COST Action ENRESSH (Evaluative Research in the Social Sciences and Humanities), as well as serving on the Steering Committee for the World Health Organisations Evidence Informed Policy Network (WHO EVIPNet) with special responsibilities for Monitoring and Evaluation, as well as Advocacy and Impact.  

In addition, Gemma has also been the Section Editor for Health and Research Policy for the journal PLOSOne since 2011.  She has been a past holder of the ESRC Future Research Leader Fellowship, as well as the British Academy Rising Star Engagement Award.

Research overview

Research evaluation, Evaluation societies, Peer review processes, Societal impact (“Impact”), International and national research assessment frameworks, UK Research Excellence Frameworks, Higher Education policies, Research and innovation policies, Responsible research and innovation, Bibliometrics, Scientometrics, Altmetrics, Research governance, Evidence-based and evidence-informed policymaking, Health policy making, Research Utilisation, Public engagement, Mixed methodology, Qualitative research, Research networks, Social network analysis, Research visualisation, Text visualisation and Science communication.

Research Grants

Samuel G, Derrick, G. 2016-2017. Social media approaches to health research: an emprical analysis of decision-making within the ethical landscape.  The Wellcome Trust.  £89,405

Derrick GE. 2015-2016. “Establishing an international network of researchers for qualitative and mixed methodological approaches in research policy and evaluation”  British Academic Rising Star Engagement Award (BARSEA).  £14,630

Derrick GE. 2013-2016.  “Understanding the “impact” of health and medical research: Insights from the REF2014.  UK Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC). Future Research Leaders Grant. £240,003

External Roles

  • Section Editor Health and Research Policy, PLOSOne
  • Member, Steering Committee, World Health Organisation Evidence Informed Policy Network (WHO EVIPNet)
  • Member, Eu-COST Action ENRESSH (Evaluative Research in the Social Sciences and Humanities)
  • Senior Research Associate, Institute for Cancer Policy. King's College London.
  • Research Associate, The Menzies School for Health Policy, The University of Sydney.

Current Teaching

Module Convenor of ED.S864 Evaluative Cultures in Higher Education in the Doctoral Programme in Educational Research (Higher Education)

Module Co-Convenor of ED.S853 Evaluating the implementation of Social Justice Programmes in the Doctoral Programme in Education and Social Justice

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