REF results out, COCAPP in

The publication of results from the Research Excellence Framework 2014 (#REF2014) has made this a big week for universities. REF is important for lots of reasons. First, it is assumed that recurring, quality-related (QR), research funding from the UK’s four higher education funding councils will be weighted to the REF results (I say ‘assumed’ here in the light of reports, today, on possible changes to the dual support system: see below for more). Second, universities and the departments within them are ranked based on REF outcomes, making the exercise a crucial one for relative reputations. Third, for governments the REF (like the various research assessment exercises (RAEs) before it) is a way of showcasing the value of research investment and the wider benefits this brings.

Universities will have followed different strategies in managing their REF submissions. In Cardiff a selective return produced a result comfortably better than had been aimed for with the University now ranked in the top five based on research quality. Check out this short video for an overview:

As I hinted above there are, already, questions being asked of how the REF results will (or will not?) be converted into future funding. A report in today’s Observer suggests that changes may be afoot to the dual support (QR and programme/project-related) system. Here’s an early morning tweet from Phil Baty at the Times Higher Education:

So that’s an evolving story which deserves to be closely watched.


…moving from research in the round to research projects specifically, this has also been the week that our draft final report from COCAPP has been submitted for peer review to the NIHR Health Services and Delivery Research Programme:

COCAPP has been an investigation into care planning and care coordination in mental health services, and has already been partnered by COCAPP-A. This related study is asking questions in the hospital setting similar to those asked by COCAPP in the community. The coming year sees COCAPP-A getting into full swing, with qualitative and quantitative data being generated across multiple NHS sites in England and Wales.


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