Research Funding and the REF

The College's REF Results were released on 18 December 2014. These results confirms RVC's unique status in veterinary research. The proportion of the RVC's research rated as internationally world leading (4*) or excellent (3*) increased to 79% in the REF 2014 from 55% six years ago (RAE 2008).

In maintaining a large critical mass and inclusive approach to supporting both clinical and veterinary research, the College has sustained its position as third for its Unit of Assessment in the power weighting (out of 29 institutions). It is this weighting (quality multiplied by volume) that determines future research funding.

The overall profile of the College is:

 FTE staff 
ranked 4*
ranked 3*
ranked 2*
ranked 1*
Outputs 103.49 17.4 55.3 24.2 3.1
Impact 103.49 63.6 21.9 10.9 3.6
Enviroment 103.49 75.0 25.0 0.0 0.0
Overall 103.49 35 44 18 3

The Research Excellence Framework (REF) measures the quality of research in UK universities. It's main aim is to assess the quality of research taking place within universities and other research organisations.

  • The funding bodies 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 were invited to make submissions in 36 units of assessment. Submissions were 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 made its submission under Agriculture, Veterinary and Food Science (Unit 6).

REF case studies from 2014

The Royal Veterinary College submitted 11 case studies to REF 2014, from its excellent research, published during the period 1993 to July 2013 and demonstrating impacts occurring between 2008 and 2013. 

The studies covered the broad range of excellent research at RVC, historical and current, and impacts spanning commercial and economic value; health and welfare advances with both veterinary and medical applications; social impact through public engagement; and developments in government policies and professional clinical practices of both national and international significance.

The impact case studies (redacted for publication where required) are available under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International license and can be viewed below:

The Royal Veterinary College is delighted that one of our case studies has been included in the "top 20 REF case studies of UK research having an impact on global development" that has been put together by UKCDS.  UKCDS selected 20 stories (out of the 6,975 impact case studies that were submitted to REF) that they judged as being the most impressive examples of UK research contributing to global development.  A team of science writers then worked with the relevant researchers and universities to re-write the case studies into engaging stories.  Our case study on the threat of Avian Influenza was chosen.  

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