SciTech bulletin

In preparation for REF2014 - raising our game

Whilst the HEFCE rules are not yet finalised until the summer of this year, it is widely expected that the REF2014 assessment weighting will be 65% (or more) on 4 selected research outputs, 20% on research impact (1 case study for every 10 staff submitted) and 15% on research environment (which includes funding). This represents a greater emphasis on outputs and impact than RAE2008.

What we do know is that the HEFCE research funding formula will change this summer. Up to now, it was 9 units for 4*, 3 units for 3*, 1 unit for 2* outputs and zero for everything else. The change is that 2* outputs will also have zero weighting, leaving only 4* and 3* outputs bringing any financial return.

For FST, assuming all else remains equal, this change represents an 11% reduction in HEFCE research funding, which is nearly a million pounds per year, with obviously serious consequences.

From RAE2008 data, FST has 15% of its outputs at 4*, 44% at 3*, and 41% in other categories. To maintain and improve our position, it is imperative that we collectively focus on 4* and 3* outputs. We need to shift at least 11%/4% of our research outputs into the 3*/4* categories just maintain the status quo, otherwise face the consequence of funding reduction. Bearing in mind that our competitors will be doing the same, we must aim higher. There is still sufficient time to achieve this goal before the deadline in 2013.

Michael Kosch
Associate Dean for Research

Career Development Support for Researchers

Vitae is a national organisation championing the personal, professional and career development of doctoral researchers and research staff in higher education institutions and research institutes. It provides a forum for employers, managers, researchers and supervisors. The Vitae web site is now live:

Energy Lancaster Launch

Lancaster Universityís new energy research centre, Energy Lancaster, will have its official opening on Thursday 10 March at 3pm. The launch will involve a presentation outlining Energy Lancasterís activities by its Director, Professor Colin Boxall, and a presentation by Charles Hendry, the Minister for Energy and Climate Change, on the UKís energy agenda.

This will be followed by a Q&A debate with the Minister and key members of Energy Lancaster. There will also be an exhibition showcasing Energy Lancasterís activities, including:

For a full programme and registration details see Registration is required no later than Monday 7 March, 12pm. All LU staff and external organisations are welcome to attend.


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