What’s this thing called REF?

The Research Excellence Framework (REF) is the system for assessing the quality of research in UK Higher Education Institutions

Primary purpose of REF: QR funding allocation

►4 UK HE Funding bodies allocate approximately £2bn per annum
►To ensure ‘a dynamic and internationally competitive UK research sector’
►To contribute to ‘economic prosperity, national wellbeing and the expansion and dissemination of knowledge’
►Institutional strategy development
►Response to emerging new areas

search-bar-image What’s QR Funding?

Public funding for Higher Education research is administered under a ‘dual support’ system. Under this system, research infrastructure is funded through a grant called Quality Related (QR) funding, and specific research projects are funded through UK Research Councils through a bidding process.

Other purposes of REF

►Rich evidence base
►Accountability & information
►Performance incentive for individuals & institutions
►Reputational benchmark

Benefits/impact of REF

►Impact at International, National and Institutional level
► Increased UK Research Quality
►Raised profile of Research in Universities
►Supports strategy development
►Used to select partners
► Awareness and importance of research impact
►Assessment of impact of public investment



Source: http://www.hefce.ac.uk/rsrch/funding; Building on Success and Learning from Experience An Independent Review of the Research Excellence Framework Baroness Brown of Cambridge DBE FREng 31st October 2016





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