REF2014 Impact

PLEASE NOTE: The information and guidance provided below here are FOR REFERENCE ONLY; the guidance and criteria for the next REF excercise are yet to be released.

REF 2014 (Research Excellence Framework) introduced impact as a new assessment category. It will account for 20% of the overall quality profile, along with 65% for research outputs (publications) and 15% for research environment.

Impact for REF 2014 was judged on “reach and significance“. That is, how widely the impact was felt (not necessarily a geographic measure) and how much difference was made to the beneficiaries.

For more detailed information: HEFCE Guidance and Panel Criteria.

The University of St Andrews submitted over 80 impact case studies to REF 2014. Some of these are featured amongst the fabulous examples of impact on our impact blog.

The criteria distilled

One impact case studies was required for roughly every 10 researchers submitted.
The main criteria for case studies was:

  • adherence to the REF definition of impact (public engagement had to have evidence of having achieved public benefit)
  • underpinned by international quality research in terms of originality, significance and rigour
  • research to impact link was vital; the research must have made a distinct and material contribution to the impact
  • research must have been undertaken at the submitting HEI between 1 Jan 1993 and 31 Dec 2013
  • impact must have taken place during the assessment period, i.e. between 1 Jan 2008 and 31 July 2013
  • evidence was required for all major claims of research to impact link and impact described