In your article on the financial outcome of the RAE, you ascribe the Institute of Cancer Research's 10 per cent decrease in research funding to "disappointing RAE results" ("Reversal of fortunes", 5 March). This is not the case. In your own Table of Excellence, published on 18 December 2008, the institute ranked top, with the highest percentage of 4* plus 3* research of any institution submitting to multiple units of assessment.
Hefce's declared policy was to reward excellence wherever it was found, and it is the Government's policy to maintain support for science. Quite how cutting the budget of the top-ranked institution, which only does science, is congruent with these objectives is something that only Hefce can explain. I and my colleagues look forward to hearing from it.
Peter W. J. Rigby, Chief executive, Institute of Cancer Research.