Impact in the Context of REF

Some of my colleagues attended the HEFCE-sponsored “Impact in the Context of REF” event on Friday 25th June at King’s College London.  Kerry Revel very kindly provided this brief report.

The event was very informative.  There were several presentations from pilot institutions on their similar experiences of participating in the REF Impact Pilot.  David Sweeney, Director of Research, Innovation and Skills at HEFCE reported that the pilot is going well and that the panels have found themselves able to use case studies to differentiate scores.  The pilot has raised various issues to be resolved in consultation with the assessment panels. 

It was particularly interesting to hear from the Chairs of the Clinical Medicine and the English Language and Literature pilot panels.  They reported that, despite some initial scepticism from panel members, the process has worked well, which should provide reassurance and confidence to the academic community.  The importance was highlighted of institutions being able to showcase the benefits their research has had to the economy and wider society, particularly in the present climate, when funding for research is so tight.

The event included a presentation from Sue Smart, Head of Performance and Evaluation, EPSRC on RCUK’s Research Outcomes Project.  Sue’s slides are available at

The programme and presentations from the event can be accessed at

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