Weighting of Impact Confirmed for 2014 REF

The weighting of research impact in the 2014 Research Excellence Framework has been confirmed as 20 % in a publication released today by HEFCE.

The confirmed weightings of research outputs, impact and environment are:

  • research outputs – 65 per cent ;
  • impact – 20 per cent (this will increase in subsequent REFs);
  • environment – 15 per cent.

In a statement accompanying the release of the publication, David Sweeney, Director (Research, Innovation, and Skills), of HEFCE said:

‘We have now confirmed the main elements of the new Research Excellence Framework which will allow it to take place as planned in 2014. The explicit assessment of impact in the REF for the first time demonstrates the importance placed on research outside the research community. It will enable universities to rigorously demonstrate the success of their research and the significant contribution it makes to the economy and society.’

The decision for impact to be given the weighting of 20 per cent in the assessment was made in light of the need to recognise the impact of excellent research. In discussions to determine the appropriate weighting the UK funding bodies considered a 25 per cent weighting for impact given its importance. However as the assessment of impact in the 2014 REF will still be to an extent developmental, the weighting will be 20 per cent in the first REF with the intention that this will increase in subsequent exercises.

Further announcements on the 2014 REF are expected in July 2011.

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