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Profiles

Mr Charles Dorr

Research Institute Manager

Faculty of Business

Role

I am responsible for managing the university's new Institute for Social, Policy and Enterprise Research (iSPER). The institute's mission is to act as a coordinating and facilitating nexus for social, enterprise and policy research at the university. Through effectively and flexibly fostering world-class research networks, iSPER aims to maximise research competitiveness and impact. 

Before moving to the Business Faculty I worked at SERIO, a research unit in the university's Research and Innovation Directorate, which delivers applied social, economic and market research for both the university and external clients (including local authorities, charities and government departments).  There I undertook both quantitative and qualitative research across a range of subject areas, including: learning and skills; higher education; employment; business; health and crime.

Qualifications

MSc Social Research - Plymouth University

MA International Studies (International Political Economy) - University of Birmingham

BSc Government - London School of Economics

Research interests

My previous role at SERIO involved undertaking applied research related to a range of areas including: higher education, employment, economics,business and healthcare. Research projects I have delivered include evaluations,economic impact studies, cost-benefit analysis, economic profiles, perception studies and qualitative research. 

Below is a selection of various projects I have worked on:

Evaluations


Evaluation of Superfast Cornwall - for Cornwall Development Company (2013-15).  Charles played a key role in delivering the Evaluation of Superfast Cornwall, at both the interim and final report stage. As the largest single piece of European funded development within the county ever, the programme aimed to ensure that 95% of premises within the county could gain access to fibre based broadband. As part of his work on the project, Charles undertook the economic impact assessment of the programme, which involved developing a method for estimating GVA from business growth and new business development. In addition Charles undertook interviews with key stakeholders, assessed the benefits to businesses and households, and reviewed key developments in broadband policy across the UK and the EU. 

Evaluation of Nightstop North Devon (2015) - for Nightstop Devon. The Nightstop service aims to provide emergency accommodation to young homeless people in the homes of approved voluntary hosts. Nightstop Devon recently obtained money from the government's Vulnerable and Disengaged Young People Fund to establish a pilot Nightstop scheme within the predominantly rural areas of North Devon and Torridge. Charles managed the evaluation of pilot which included a focus group with young people, interviews with project staff and surveys of volunteers and partner agencies. 

Evaluation of the Plymouth and Western Morning News Growth Fund Round 1 (2014) – for Plymouth University. As part of the government’s Regional Growth Fund, the Plymouth and Western Morning New Growth Fund, aims to provide grant funding for small and medium sized businesses in the South West to fund specific projects and help boost private sector jobs growth. Charles led on this project which involved analysing monitoring data and calculating the economic impact of the fund and interviewing key stakeholders to ascertain the wider benefits of the programme.  

Evaluation of the Higher Education Support Programme (2013) - for Unltd. Charles was involved in the national evaluation of the Higher Education Support Programme which aimed to foster social entrepreneurship amongst university students and staff. His involvement included delivering in-depth individual and group interviews with project participants. This was used to examine the extent to which the project supported university students and staff members to establish social enterprises in cooperation with members of their local community.

Evaluation of the Mapping Local Food Webs Project (2012) - for CPRE. The project aimed to equip communities across England with the tools and support needed to map their food webs.  CPRE coordinators worked with volunteers in each location to plan and deliver mapping exercises, while a toolkit, to encourage community groups in other areas to map their own food webs, was developed and piloted. Amongst the activities Charles delivered were a series of interviews with key stakeholders in two key mapping locations, as well as a second series of interviews with the volunteers involved in piloting the toolkit. Charles also undertook an analysis of both survey and desktop data and contributed to the completion of the final report for CPRE.

Evaluation of the Catalyst Pluss Project (2011/12) - for Pluss).  Charles completed a two-part formative and summative evaluation of a project to develop social enterprises and support people who are disadvantaged in the labour market to find employment.  As part of this work Charles undertook telephone interviews with project staff and stakeholders in addition to a review of project management data. 

Evaluation of BASIS Torbay for the Future Project (2011/12) - for Groundwork South West.  Charles managed and delivered an evaluation of a Big Lottery funded infrastructure project for the voluntary sector.  As part of this work, Charles designed and delivered face-to-face and telephone surveys, and undertook data and survey analysis.

Evaluation of the ESF Progressive Isles Project (2011) - for the Council of the Isles of Scilly. As part of this evaluation Charles undertook in-depth telephone interviews with employers and stakeholders on the Scilly Isles and designed and analysed responses from an e-survey of project beneficiaries.  In addition, Charles developed a series of case studies of comparable projects based on semi-structured telephone interviews with ESF project managers from the Highlands and Islands of Scotland. 

Higher Education


Student Voice Listening Piece (2013) - for Combined Universities in Cornwall. Charles recently project managed a study which looked at attitudes and awareness of higher education within Cornwall amongst school and college students. As part of the research Charles facilitated seven student focus groups, undertook in-depth interviews with senior school staff and undertook an online survey of parents.


Plymouth University External Perceptions Study (2013) – for Plymouth University. This project involved exploring perceptions of the university amongst members of the public, businesses and key stakeholders. As part of the research Charles delivered a series of in-depth interviews with key policy-makers, undertook a street survey and wrote the final project report. 

Towards a Sustainable Institutional OER Culture for CPD Provision (2012) - for JISC and the Higher Education Academy). Open Education Resources (OERs) are online teaching resources which a free for students and lecturers to download, re-use and re-purpose.  SERIO in collaboration with Professor Stephen Gomez undertook a research and awareness raising project on the use of OERs in Plymouth University.  As part of this work Charlie undertook in-depth interviews with senior managers, organised and ran workshops with learners and employers, and drafted the final report.  

National Survey Reviews (2013 & 2015) for Plymouth University. The Careers in Research Online Survey, the Postgraduate Research Experience Survey, and the Principal Investigators and Research Leaders Survey are undertaken in each university every year. Charles undertook the analysis and report writing for these surveys in 2013 and managed the process in 2015, highlighting key university strengths and areas for improvement. 

Combined Universities in Cornwall (CUC) Perceptions Study (2011) – for Combined Universities in Cornwall. This research involved exploring perceptions of European funded investment in higher education in Cornwall. Charles managed the data collection which involved interviews with key stakeholders, businesses and educational bodies as well as a street survey of residents in Truro and St Austell. 

Research with Young People


Cornwall Enterprise Programme – Entrepreneurship and Education Research (2013/14). As part of the ERDF/HEFCE funded Cornwall Enterprise Programme, Charles led on a research project to explore attitudes to and experiences with business and entrepreneurship amongst school, college and university students in Cornwall. The research consisted of a survey of HE students within the county, followed by in-depth interviews and case studies, and a series of focus groups with school and college students. Charles also wrote the report and he is currently working on its dissemination to businesses and schools in the area. 

Young People and Volunteering and Volunteering as a Progression into Employment (2012) - for Plymouth Guild. The research was designed to support Plymouth Guild to determine what volunteering opportunities exist for young people and any associated barriers from both a young persons and an organisational perspective; and to review the extent to which volunteering can act as a supportive environment to improve ready for work skills.  As part of this work Charles delivered an e-survey of Volunteer Involving Organisations and young volunteers themselves, and developed a series of in-depth case studies based on interviews with individuals from both groups.  

Economic Research


Workforce Skills Programme (Ongoing) - for Devon County Council. Charles is currently part of a team delivering a three year research project on labour market skills in Devon. As part of this work Charles has produced a series of regular updates on key labour market developments such as youth unemployment and apprenticeship reform, and has analysed and reported on the findings of a large-scale survey of employers within the county. In addition Charles reviewed. developed, analysed and reported on a set of economic indicators to monitor labour market trends within Devon, using such datasets as the Annual Population and Business Register and Employment Surveys.

Plymouth Skills Audit (2014/15) – for Plymouth City Council). Charles recently played a key role in the delivery of a piece of work auditing the availability of 16-19 skills provision within Plymouth. As part of this work Charles delivered a review of key education and skills policy developments and curriculum changes at both national and regional level. In addition he supported the development and undertook quality proofing of a database of skills providers from across the Plymouth Travel to Work Area. 

DCC Economic Research (2014) – for Devon County Council. Charles recently worked as part of the team delivering an economic research contract for Devon County Council. As part of this work Charles undertook interviews with district council Economic Development Officers, reviewed the 2013 Autumn Statement and 2014 Budget, worked on an update of the Strategy for Growth report, and reviewed indicators and developed recommendations for the next Local Economic Assessment. 

Taunton Growth Prospectus (2013) – for Somerset County Council and Taunton Deane Borough Council. SERIO were recently commissioned to develop a SWOT analysis of Taunton’s economy to support the development of a visioning document. As part of this work Charles analysed key datasets such as the Business Register and Employment Survey and the Annual Population Survey, and reviewed key documents, including the State of the Somerset Economy report. Charles also presented the draft SWOT to officers from both Somerset and Taunton Deane councils. 

Sectors Research (2012) - for Devon and Somerset County Councils and Dartmoor National Park Authority. SERIO were commissioned by three south west local authorities to undertake research on key economic sectors in order to inform their local economic assessments and strategies for growth. As part of this project Charles supported a consultation with key stakeholders and developed a series of ‘sector roadmaps’ outlining key national and local developments and future projections for the sectors identified as priority.  

Tavistock Townscape Heritage FundApplication (2012) - for West Devon Borough Council).  In order to support a bid by West Devon Borough Council to the Townscape Heritage Fund, SERIO developed an evidence base around the need for regeneration in Tavistock.  As part of this work Charles undertook an analysis of key data sets, including the Indices of Multiple Deprivation, house price data, business demographics and claimant count data and contributed towards a regeneration plan. 

 

Obstacles to Export Growth forAgrifood Small and Medium Enterprises (2011/12) - for DEFRA. The aim of this research project was to better understand export activity amongst small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) in the agrifood sector, and to use the findings to inform DEFRA policy on supporting SME export activity. As part of this research Charlie assisted with the delivery of a series of telephone interviews with SMEs across the UK and undertook an analysis of the responses.

Business Research and Economic Impact Studies

 

Cornwall Enterprise Programme (2012- 2015) – for European Regional Development Fund and Higher Education FundingCouncil for England. Charles was recently part of the team, based at SERIO, which was responsible for delivering the research strand of the Cornwall Enterprise Programme, a three year European funded programme of business support.  As part of this work Charles delivered an extensive literature review on the challenges faced by small and medium sized businesses operating in peripheral rural economies, produced a series of short research reports disseminated directly to businesses, undertook a large-scale piece of research around leadership issues and delegation, and delivered a survey of Cornish businesses on succession planning issues. In addition Charles also ledon the design and commissioning of the project website.

 

Economic Impact Assessment of Plymouth University’s Graduation Week (2015) – for Plymouth University. Charles led on a brief desk-top research study for theuniversity’s External Relations team to estimate the economic impact of theuniversity’s graduation week, held every year on the Hoe. As part of this work Charles developed and implemented a method for estimating visitor spend and return on investment. 

 

Cornwall Innovation Centres AnnualClient Surveys (ongoing) - for Plymouth University.  Charles is currently responsible for managing the delivery of the annual client surveys for the Pool, Tremough and the Health and Wellbeing Centres, which each provide incubation space for businesses in Cornwall. As part of this research Charles undertook face-to-face interviews with business tenants, developed a model for assessing economic impact and wrote a series of reports. 

 

South West Health and Life ScienceIndustry Database (2014) – for the South West Academic Health Science Network(SW AHSN)). Charles led on a market research project to develop a database of businesses across the south west in the health, social care, medical biotechnology, medical technology and pharmaceutical industries.Charles led on and supervised the collation of the database, the markets segmentation and the collection of additional information from businesses on turnover and employee numbers.

 

Longitudinal Survey for Superfast Cornwall (2014-15) – for Cornwall Development Company (CDC). In order to help inform the ongoing evaluation of Superfast Cornwall CDC commissioned SERIO to undertake a longitudinal survey of businesses to assess how the impact of the new technology changes over time. As part of this research Charles developed the survey, managed the delivery of the data collection, developed an approach to estimating economic impact, and undertook much of the analysis and report writing.

 

Health Research

 

Oral Health Promotion Approaches forDental Health Practitioners (2014) – for the National Institute for Clinical Excellence. Charles was recently part of a team undertaking asystematic review of both quantitative and qualitative literature on oralhealth promotion interventions. The review focused on the approaches taken by dental health practitioners and will be used to help guide dental teams in terms of how to translate oral health messages to patients. Charles' work on this project included selecting and reviewing relevant articles, data extraction and evidence table development, and quality assessment. 

 

First Trimester Fetal AnomalyScreening: the value of raised Nuchal Translucency as a predictor of poorhealth (2013) – for the UK National Screening Committee. Nuchal translucency (NT) is defined as theaccumulation of subcutaneous fluid in the nuchal region of the fetus at 11-14weeks. In order to help inform the screening anomaly screening programme, Charles undertook a systematic review of literature on the use of raised NT as a marker for health conditions such as Downs Syndrome for the UK National Screening Committee.

 

Other Research

 

360 Degrees – A New Angle on Access (2015) –for NESTA and Arts Council England. This research and development project, which was led by We are Freewheeling, in partnership with SERIO, Affinity and Living Options Devon, aimed to develop and test affordable 360 degree immersive technology for displaying artwork. A particular focus of the focus of the project was to improve access immersive artwork through making the technology more affordable and practical for small community arts venues and by bringing it into the homes of disabled people who have limited ability to leave the home. Charles managed the research strand of this project which involved training Living Options researchers on delivering interviews in peoples’ homes, managing a team of researchers and delivering surveys of visitors to exhibitions and workshops, undertaking semi-structured interviews with project staff, and drafting an attractive, accessible, final report.

 

IET Smart Cities Research (2012) -for the Institution of Engineering and Technology. The smart city, or intelligent future city, concept uses smart technology to manage increasing urbanisation in a more efficient,sustainable and environmentally friendly way. The Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET) commissioned SERIO to undertake a national research project on the subject to inform their public engagement plan.  As part of this work Charles delivered a set of interviews with stakeholders from government departments,academia, the media and local government, and launched, managed and analysed an online survey of IET members. 

 

Plymouth’s ‘Seven 2 One’ Scheme: AReview of the Costs (2011)  -  for Devon and Cornwall Constabulary.  In summer 2011, Charles undertook a cost-benefit analysis of the Plymouth Integrated Offender Management scheme (IOM).  As part of this work Charles developed a methodology for calculating the cost of crime, which he applied to the IOM cohort.