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REF tactics: can you win by fielding the whole team?

Universities, and especially the research elite, faced a choice between aiming for highest quality scores and the greatest number of staff submitted

N8 remains optimistic despite REF slide

The director of a partnership of research-intensive universities is upbeat about future outlook

Overseas academics ‘should have REF input’

LSE pro-director also calls for metrics to measure impact

REF 2014: impact element cost £55 million

Findings reveal the total cost to institutions of attempting to articulate impact

‘Grotesque’ flow of QR cash to minnows could sink REF, scholar warns

Funding gains for smaller universities ‘risks UK research quality’

Winners and losers in Hefce funding allocations

REF-based distribution of £1.6bn research pot results in some big changes

REF 2014 impact case studies: government policy cited most

Informing government policy was the most common kind of impact submitted to the 2014 research excellence framework, a study has found

Universal case studies would lighten the REF load

Dominic Dean has a plan to make future assessment exercises easier, quicker and better

Reform of research funding formula will benefit elites, says REF critic

Division as scholars analyse Hefce’s system for dividing £1 billion QR pot

Research funding formula tweaked after REF 2014 results

England’s funding council has changed the formula for distributing quality-related research funding following the research excellence framework

The impact of impact

The REF’s formal assessment of the impact of academic work was highly controversial in theory: how did it play out in practice?

Academic estimates ‘real’ cost of REF exceeds £1bn

Sector challenged to share data on REF costs and come up with less ‘disingenuous’ figure than official estimates

Departments: the ideal units of quality assessment

The standards of research and teaching would be best protected by department-based reviews, argues Roger Brown

Rowan Williams on higher education's ‘inhuman and divisive’ jargon

Jargon demanded by REF ‘risks isolating universities from rest of society’

REF’s diversity-boosters find fewer takers in the physical sciences

Report finds new measures did make exercise more inclusive but panels differed in numbers of scholars submitted with reduced outputs

Careers at risk after case studies ‘game playing’, REF study suggests

Submission patterns reveal how institutions responded to rules

ESRC’s block grant allocation is flawed, says academic

REF analysis suggests that new system for allocating funds has ‘no correspondence with excellence in research impact’

How was it for you? REF views coloured by rank, discipline

Study finds variations by seniority, subject and institutional mission in scholars’ published opinions on the research excellence framework

REF 2014 rerun: who are the 'game players'?

How do rankings shift when institutions are compared on research intensity, which takes into account percentage of staff submitted, rather than on standard GPA alone?

Funding plea for humanities as life sciences crowned REF 2014 champion

Uplift in research quality in main panel A raises fears that funding could be concentrated at a handful of universities

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Kevin Haggerty and Aaron Doyle offer tips on making postgraduate study even tougher (which students could also use to avoid pitfalls if they prefer)

  • Lead feature montage (20 August 2015)

Ellie Bothwell introduces our four ‘innovation indicators’ and reveals the strongest performers as we visualise a new ranking based on university-industry collaboration

  • Harvard University statue

China continues to advance, but Japan dips in Shanghai Jiao Tong ranking based on research strength

  • Man lying beneath rugby pile-up

Six academics share their experiences before delivering a verdict on the system

There are some important dos and don’ts to bear in mind when choosing someone to oversee your doctoral thesis, advises Tara Brabazon