After a gap of a few months, I am coming back to writing online.
A principal reason for the hiatus has been the dominance, in the day job, of a single project: the consultation on the next Research Excellence Framework (REF). In the latter part of the autumn, there was finalising the detailed wording of the consultation document. Then, while the consultation period was open, a pretty hectic schedule of events and engagement work. And since the consultation period ended, the last few weeks have involved a lot of detailed analysis of the responses, which has taken up a huge amount of time for me, and the rest of my team at HEFCE. Of course, the work around developing the next REF is only just starting really, but as the detailed analytical phase of the consultation draws to a close, I am starting to feel I have the intellectual bandwidth to devote more time to writing here.
Although the last few months have been fun (really; developing the REF is an incredibly engaging professional challenge, at least for me), I have missed writing. I am always surprised and flattered when people tell me they read what I publish, but I also know the numbers; I don't have that many readers. I also know that reader numbers aren't my motivation for writing, which is more about sorting out ideas for myself, acting as a record of my reading and thinking, and also providing a stimulus to read more widely than I might otherwise.
So, I am back. I am not going to make a commitment (at least in public) to how often I will be posting, apart from to say the gap to the next post will hopefully be less than five months.