Category: REF2021

Research assessments tell us what and who did research impact, but say little about the why and how.

The introduction of impact into the 2014 Research Excellence Framework (REF) and the results it provided had a transformative effect on perceptions and approaches to research impact. However, REF 2021 and the results of the first KEF have had a more su…

The next REF should place greater value on the ‘impact-in-process’ generated by co-produced research.

Impact has in the past two REF cycles established itself as an integral criteria of research assessment in the UK. However, the kinds of impacts that are valued and the ways in which the ‘reach’ and ‘significance’ of impact are interpreted by instituti…

Stratification, Centralisation and the REF – The changing face of the UK university workforce

Drawing on an analysis of HESA and case study data, Andrew Jenkins and Alison Wolf, explore the changing composition of the workforce in the UK higher education sector. Trends towards increased professionalisation and centralisation of roles, as well a…

Do we need all the components of the Research Excellence Framework?

The Research Excellence Framework (REF) is underpinned by three areas of assessment: outputs, impact and environment. However, discussing the findings of their recent research Mehmet Pinar and Tim Horne argue that these elements correlate to the extent…

We read 70 impact strategies from across the globe – we found only two different strategies.

Reporting on their recent international survey of impact strategies, Mark Reed and Saskia Gent discuss their findings, identify two main types of impact strategy and analyse six key themes that comprise the current sector standard for good impact strat…

What does COVID-19 mean for the evaluation of the Impact criterion in REF2021?

The concept of research impact represents, to a degree, a formal way of understanding the productive relationships forged between academic research and the wider world. Unsurprisingly, these relationships took on entirely new dimensions as the COVID-19…

Impact Monoculture – Are all impact case studies the same old story?

The impact of quantitative research measures on academic behaviours have been widely discussed, but the impact of qualitative assessment regimes is more often thought of as benign. Drawing on an analysis of impact case studies submitted to REF 2014, Ju…

To reduce inequalities in research evaluation, give researchers a universal basic income for research impact

As the review of REF2021 begins, Mark Reed proposes that rather than allocating impact funding to a small number of high performing institutions, funding should be allocated more broadly to individual researchers. He argues that not only would this lim…