REF analysis: looking beyond boundaries

January 22, 2015

We would like to provide amendments to Adam Crawford’s analysis of the Economic and Social Research Council’s Impact Acceleration Account awards and research excellence framework outcomes (“REF analysis highlights ESRC’s ineffective allocation, says scholar”, News, 8 January).

Professor Crawford suggests that several universities, including Bangor University, underperformed in the REF relative to their IAA block allocation. Professor Crawford’s analysis, however, made an invalid assumption about Bangor’s IAA award that undermines his conclusions. The IAA was awarded to accelerate social science research wherever it may be within the organisation. Bangor has considerable success in winning ESRC funding for research that spans many disciplines. As a consequence, most of Bangor’s social science research was not submitted to one main panel (panel C); in fact, Bangor’s social science research was submitted to six units of assessment, only one of which was considered by main panel C. The majority of Bangor’s ESRC-funded research was submitted to: 3) allied health professions, dentistry, nursing and pharmacy; 4) psychology, psychiatry and neuroscience; 6) agriculture, veterinary and food science; 7) earth systems and environmental sciences; and 28) modern languages and linguistics. Reference to the REF results in Times Higher Education (“Check your coordinates”, Features, 18/25 December) shows the quality of outputs and impact at Bangor in these submissions.

None of these units was considered by main panel C and they were not included in Professor Crawford’s analysis, which brings his conclusions into question. Indeed, there is a high degree of correlation between Bangor’s strong performance in social science and our impressive REF assessments for outputs and impact.

David Shepherd
Deputy vice-chancellor for research and enterprise

Jo Rycroft-Malone
Professor of implementation and health services research
Bangor University

Times Higher Education free 30-day trial

You've reached your article limit

Register to continue

Registration is free and only takes a moment. Once registered you can read a total of 6 articles each month, plus:

  • Sign up for the editor's highlights
  • Receive World University Rankings news first
  • Get job alerts, shortlist jobs and save job searches
  • Participate in reader discussions and post comments
Register

Have your say

Log in or register to post comments

Featured Jobs

Senior Lecturer: Architecture (Cultural Content) NORWICH UNIVERSITY OF THE ARTS
Head of Department of Physics ZHEJIANG UNIVERSITY
Research Assistant LONDON SCHOOL OF ECONOMICS & POLITICAL SCIENCE LSE
Lecturer in University Study Skills UNIVERSITY OF HAFR AL BATIN

Most Commented

question marks PhD study

Selecting the right doctorate is crucial for success. Robert MacIntosh and Kevin O'Gorman share top 10 tips on how to pick a PhD

India, UK, flag

Sir Keith Burnett reflects on what he learned about international students while in India with the UK prime minister

Pencil lying on open diary

Requesting a log of daily activity means that trust between the institution and the scholar has broken down, says Toby Miller

Application for graduate job
Universities producing the most employable graduates have been ranked by companies around the world in the Global University Employability Ranking 2016
Construction workers erecting barriers

Directly linking non-EU recruitment to award levels in teaching assessment has also been under consideration, sources suggest