30 March, 2015
The impact case studies analysis found that the impact of research from UK universities is considerable and diverse, and that different universities specialise in different types of impact.
UK research has contributed to the wealth and well-being of every nation in the world.
This is one of the messages from a number of studies that have published their results after evaluating different aspects of the Research Excellence Framework (REF).
These include an analysis of the 6,975 impact case studies submitted to the REF, evaluations of the REF’s submission and assessment processes, as well as a new database of all the impact case studies.
The impact case studies analysis, carried out by a group at King’s College London, found that the impact of research from UK universities is considerable and diverse, and that different universities specialise in different types of impact. Even more interesting, it found that overall there were mentions of UK research having had impact in every nation in the world, with substantial impact in developing countries.
Number of times countries were mentioned in REF impact case studies, taken from the King’s College report
There are also many lessons to learn about the process for the next REF, which is predicted to put an even stronger significance on the impact category. Early estimates suggest UK universities spent £55 million in preparing submissions for the REF, and analyses by RAND Europe include several suggestions on how the process could be made more effective.
Over the next few months UKCDS will be exploring the REF impact case studies to draw out shining examples of, and lessons on, how UK research impacts on international development.
For the various analyses see the REF website.