Research is central to all we do as a university, and the Research Excellence Framework (REF) is an important way in which this work is recognised and rewarded. The REF result greatly influences our competitive position and, thereby, affects our ability to continue to attract excellent staff and students. The REF result also determines how ‘QR’ money is distributed across the HE sector, and this money helps fund research and impact even when it is not supported by a research grant or contract. High quality research underpins our teaching, our reputation, and our contribution to society. Given the value of this exercise, it is important that we are well prepared to ensure our submission properly represents the research excellence at our university.
The Research Excellence Framework (REF) is a periodic measurement of research quality in universities and other higher education institutions in the UK against international standards of excellence. The REF outcomes are used by the UK Funding Councils to distribute their block grant for research, and offer an objective picture of research quality across the UK. It first took place in 2014 and the next exercise will be conducted in 2021.