UKCDR is analysing the results of the Research Excellence Framework 2021 (REF 2021). Our work is focused on REF 2021 impact case studies, identifying trends and best practices and sharing recommendations around the impact of international development research.  This project supports the development of a narrative around the need for and importance of international development research to both the UK and our LMIC partners.

Why are we working on this? 

The landscape of international development research in the UK has experienced multiple changes over the last few years. From our expertise supporting the coherence of research addressing global challenges, we recognise that institutional, budget and funding model shifts bring new challenges and opportunities for supporting impactful international research. Understanding best practice in achieving research impact will be of interest to government departments, parliamentary committees, research funders, higher education institutions in the UK and the wider international research community.

This project will shed light on good research practices by exploring the role of transdisciplinarity, equitable partnerships and research capacity strengthening. It will also contribute to the development of a transdisciplinary research ecosystem for international development research by informing funder and practitioner practice on how to achieve impact in development research.

What are we doing now?

We have convened a group of international experts to help shape the project and refine its results. Supported by this group, UKCDR is currently working on:

  •  A mapping analysis of REF 2021 development research projects’ impact by exploring their trends and gaps across disciplines, topics and geographical locations. The assessment will also highlight nuances on the type of partners involved, impacted audiences and funding sources.
  •  A closer analysis of a set of development research projects to better understand the connection between the type of impact achieved and how it was achieved. Interviews with the research team and users will provide information on the key challenges and catalysers that paved the process of achieving impactful and excellent research.

Contact us

For more information on our work on development research impact, please contact Andrea Padilla – Research and Policy Officer (a.padilla@ukcdr.org.uk)