Research Funding and the REF
The Research Excellence Framework (REF) is the new system for assessing the quality of research in UK higher education institutions (HEIs).
It has replaced the Research Assessment Exercise (RAE) and will be completed in 2014, with results announced during December 2014. The REF will be undertaken by the four UK higher education funding bodies. The exercise will be managed by the REF team based at HEFCE and overseen by the REF Steering Group, consisting of representatives of the four funding bodies. Within the College, the Research Strategy Committee will be tasked with making the final selection of research outputs and impact case studies for the College's REF submission.
The primary purpose of the REF is to produce assessment outcomes for each submission made by institutions:
- The funding bodies intend to use the assessment outcomes to inform the selective allocation of their research funding to HEIs, with effect from 2015-16, so will be used to determine the level of funding the RVC receives from HEFCE.
- The assessment provides accountability for public investment in research and produces evidence of the benefits of this investment.
- The assessment outcomes provide benchmarking information and establish reputational yardsticks.
HEIs will be invited to make submissions in 36 units of assessment. Submissions will be assessed by an expert sub-panel for each unit of assessment, working under the guidance of four main panels. Sub-panels will apply a set of generic assessment criteria and level definitions, to produce an overall quality profile for each submission. The RVC will be making a submission under Agriculture, Veterinary and Food Science (Unit 6).
The exercise of peer review will provide an assessment of the quality profile of research undertaken at the College and will have an enormous influence on the College’s reputation both nationally and internationally. Thus, decisions on what research outputs to be included in the REF are of great importance to the future of the College and will be made solely on the basis of maximising the quality of the outputs that can be presented and therefore the College’s reputation for its research.
For information on how the College will select eligible staff to be included and how individual staff circumstances will be taken into account, please refer to relevant page in the left hand menu.