Research Excellence Framework

The Research Excellence Framework (REF) is the new system for assessing the quality of research in UK higher education institutions (HEIs), replacing the Research Assessment Exercise (RAE) last completed in 2008.

The primary purpose of the REF is to produce assessment outcomes for each submission made by institutions:

  • The funding bodies intend to use the assessment outcomes to inform the selective allocation of their research funding to HEIs, with effect from 2015-16.
  • The assessment provides accountability for public investment in research and produces evidence of the benefits of this investment.
  • The assessment outcomes provide benchmarking information and establish reputational yardsticks.

The REF is a process of expert review. The RAU has made a submission to unit 6, Agriculture Equine and Vet Science (units of assessment) which will be assessed by an expert sub-panel, working under the guidance of four main panels to produce an overall quality profile for each submission.

Our submission consists of these main sections.

REF 1a/b/c: Information on staff in post on the census date, 31 October 2013, selected by the institution to be included in the submission. (not published)

Two research groups were submitted: 

(a) Sustainable Agriculture, Food and Rural Economy 

(b) Equine

REF2: Details of publications and other forms of assessable output which they have produced during the publication period (1 January 2008 to 31 December 2013); four outputs per person. (document published on this page) 

REF 3a: Describing our approach during the assessment period (1 January 2008 to 31 July 2013) to enabling impact from its research. (documents published on this page)

REF 3b : Two case studies describing specific examples of impacts achieved during the assessment period, one relating to food chain research, the other to equine research, underpinned by excellent research in the period 1 January 1993 to 31 December 2013.  (documents published on this page)

REF 4a/b/c: Data about research doctoral degrees awarded and research income related to the period 1 August 2008 to 31 July 2013. (not published)

REF 5: describing the research environment in the period 1 January 2008 to 31 July 2013 (published on this page).