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Research

RAE

What is the Research Assessment Exercise (RAE)?

The RAE is the process by which Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE), the Scottish Funding Council (SFC), the Higher Education Funding Council for Wales (HEFCW) and the Department for Employment and Learning, Northern Ireland (DEL) evaluate the quality of the research undertaken by British higher education institutions.

The rankings are used to determine the allocation of research funding each higher education establishment receives.

Our most recent RAE Results were announced on 18th December 2008.

Key facts:

  • 2008 will be the 6th RAE since 1986; the last one was in 2001
  • From 2009 the RAE will be replaced by the REF (Research Excellence Framework)
  • The RAE is funded by the four UK Higher Education Funding Councils (HEFCE, HEFCW, SFC, DEL) and all Higher Education Institutions that are funded by them can make submissions
  • RAE assesses quality of research in submissions; results inform research funding
  • For the funding period covered by the previous 2001 RAE, nationally £10.1 billion in research money was allocated according to the results.

The quality levels are defined as:

LevelQuality
Four star Quality that is world-leading in terms of originality, significance and rigour.
Three star Quality that is internationally excellent in terms of originality, significance and rigour but which nonetheless falls short of the highest standards of excellence.
Two star Quality that is recognised internationally in terms of originality, significance and rigour.
One star Quality that is recognised nationally in terms of originality, significance and rigour.
Unclassified Quality that falls below the standard of nationally recognised work, or work which does not meet the published definition of research for the purposes of this assessment.

Gold Award winner

IMS Learning Impact Conference 2010: recognising our quality and the impact of technology in enhancing the learning of our research students.