• 35 Berkeley Square , School of Education

    BS8 1JA Bristol

    United Kingdom

  • 35 Berkeley Square

Personal profile

Research interests

Dr Gemma Derrick, a visionary researcher and esteemed academic, stands at the forefront of transformative scholarship in the field of research-on-research.  Her unwavering dedication to uncovering the intricacies of scholarly practice, while simultaneously advocating for positive change and a robust research culture, positions her as a trailblazer in her field. Through her visionary leadership and groundbreaking research, she shapes the future of academia and paves the way for a more resilient, inclusive, and impactful research ecosystem.

With a specialisation in researcher behaviour, academic practice, research evaluation, societal impact, the research workforce and its governance (in particular, peer review systems), and the politics and dynamics of knowledge production and translation, Dr Derrick has emerged as a leading authority, celebrated for her contributions on the underlying mechanisms that shape the scholarly landscape.  She has published over 50 academic articles, monographs, research reports and policy briefs, just to mention a few.

Her research expertise lies in informing the construction and examining the effect of national audit frameworks, including but not restricted to the UK’s Research Excellence Framework and similar frameworks in other countries.  She examines how these frameworks achieve their intended aims and her meticulous analyses have brought to light both the strengths and limitations of these frameworks, contributing to a more nuanced understanding of their impact on research outputs, researcher behaviour and the wider research culture.  Dr Derrick has received considerable international attention for her work examining the nature of the societal impact from research, and methods for its effective evaluation through peer review.  Her insights have influenced policy development, funding decisions and academic practices, earning her international recognition and acclaim.  Her ability to bridge the gap between theory and practice empowers stakeholders to make informed decisions and enact meaningful change within their respective spheres.  This is shown through her past work with international funding councils (Academy of Finland, Research Council of Norway, Australian Research Council, Wellcome Trust among others) and national research agencies and policymakers about embedding peer review training of the societal impacts from research (ex-post and ex-ante) into peer review training, calibration and the practice of responsible and inclusive evaluation orientations.

Beyond her significant contributions to academia, Dr Derrick is a passionate advocate for research integrity, equality and inclusion towards the cultivation of a vibrant research culture, and a responsible evaluative approach to research.  In fact, her unwavering commitment to advancing the frontiers of knowledge is matched only by her commitment to spearheading innovative research initiatives.  She has successfully advocated for change within local- and nationally-based university research environments and has dedicated herself to inspiring positive transformations in research behaviour, fostering open dialogue, kindness in research practice, and promoting collaborative efforts.  Her initiatives to enhance peer review processes and promote transparent research and evaluation practices have ignited conversations and inspired scholars to embrace responsible conduct in their work.

Dr Derrick is a sought-after speaker, opinion-writer and mentor, having written about issues facing academic practice and its measurement for Nature; Science; Research Fortnight, WONKHe and the LSE Impact Blog.  An unsuccessful career in musical theatre ;) has been translated to a passion for communicating, engaging and inspiring audiences around complex issues in research culture and sparking transformative conversations.  Through her mentorship programs, she continues to nurture the next generation of change-makers, empowering them to challenge norms, push boundaries, and contribute meaningfully to society.  Many of her previous doctoral students, and research assistants have gone on to hold prestigious academic, and policy-making positions and remain active collaborators.

Her track record of successful research-advocacy programmes include the founding of the Women in Science Policy Network (WISP) within the European Network of Indicator Designers- Science and Technology Indicators (ENID-STI); successfully advocating for the greater recognition of migrant academics and compensation for via fees (Lancaster University, 2018 with International and Broke); and, more recently, the HiddenREF which aims for greater recognition and valuation of non-traditional outputs from research, through more transparent research evaluation approaches.

With the REF2028 approaching, and a successful track record in critically evaluating REF2028 evaluation while simultaneously managing competitive UoA submissions – with an expertise in Impact Case Study development – with an eye on promoting greater diversity and inclusion in submissions, Dr Derrick is poised to continue sparking necessary conversations towards a fairer and kinder research culture. 

External positions

Visiting Professor, University of Oslo

1 Jan 2022 → …


  • Meta-research
  • Research culture
  • Research policy
  • Research evaluation
  • Bibliometrics
  • Evaluation
  • Equity & Diversity
  • Peer review
  • Societal impact
  • Scientific impact


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Collaborations and top research areas from the last five years

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