Junk unfair RAE

August 22, 2003

The latest working of the research funding formula will further reward departments that have already struck lucky thanks to an unbalanced system ("Rethink doubles 6* winners", THES , August 15).

The balkanisation of disciplines in the last research assessment exercise led to sport science units of assessments receiving accolades they would not have merited if submitted as physiology, biochemistry and psychology. On all major research indicators, such as grants and publication in high-impact journals, the 5* sports science departments would have scored less well than many physiology departments that were rated 5 or 4. Similar damning comparisons could be made with psychology and biochemistry. Such a funding system deserves to be junked.

Michael J. Rennie
University of Dundee

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