Online seminar “Aiming for the Stars: What Makes a 3 and 4* Paper?” by Prof. Sue White

The Faculty of Social Sciences is pleased to invite Prof. Sue White, Professor Emerita of Social Work, University of Sheffield, to deliver the online seminar “Aiming for the Stars: What Makes a 3 and 4* Paper?” on 16 March 2023. Being part of the RAE preparation sharing sessions, the seminar attracted over 50 academic staff and research postgraduate students to join.


In the seminar, Prof. White focused on writing and choosing the appropriate work for Research Assessment Exercise (RAE) and grants application. In the first half of the seminar, she listed and explained on the crucial elements for colleagues’ publication to be classified as “world-leading” or “internationally excellent”. She provided insightful tips which help academics on illustrating and demonstrating the originality, significance and rigorousness of their work, such as agenda setting and DOs and DON’Ts during report writing. For the second half, she highlighted areas that require academics’ attention, such as observing language used by funders and researchers’ profile building. Prof. White specifically encouraged colleagues to boldly bid competitive grants. Both rounds ended with generous exchange of ideas and comments among colleagues.


Prof. Sue White is a Professor Emerita of Social Work at the University of Sheffield, with interdisciplinary research interests and rich research experiences. Prior to joining the University of Sheffield, she was Professor of Social Work at the Universities of Birmingham and Lancaster. She also served as a sub-panel in the 2014 and 2021 Research Excellence Framework (REF) in UK and RAE 2020 in Hong Kong.


The recording of the seminar is now available on the OneDrive: Seminar on Aiming for the Stars What Makes a 3 and 4 Paper.mp4.