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A measure of research success

24 Nov 2014

The results of the world’s largest research assessment process, the Research Excellence Framework (REF), will be published on Thursday, 18 December

The Research Excellence Framework (REF) findings will reveal the strength of research quality across UK higher education institutions. 

The results are important because they will be used to determine future levels of research funding from the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE). This accounts for around 30% of our University’s research funding.

REF 2014 will measure three things:

  • Outputs (65%)
  • Environment (15%)
  • Impact (20%)

The latter is a new measure and aims to show how research has made a difference in the real world and research will be graded to show if it’s of world leading, internationally excellent, internationally recognised or nationally recognised quality. 

REF builds on the previous form of assessment the Research Assessment Exercise (RAE) which was last carried out in 2008. Work has been going on at our University since 2010 to put together our REF submission – the infographic below shows the sheer size and scale of this work.


And across the country, 50,000 academics have taken part in REF, with 1,911 submissions being made from 155 higher education institutions.

The Division of Communications and Marketing have produced a communications plan to ensure that all staff are aware of the REF results and will be providing advice and guidance to Heads of School.