Impact and REF 2021

The Research Excellence Framework (REF) is the process for assessing the quality of research in UK Higher Education institutions (HEIs). HEIs are assessed across three key criteria, outputs, environment and impact (worth 60%, 15% and 25% of the overall profile, respectively). The weighting for impact has increased  from 20% in 2014.

Impact was new for the 2014 REF and was assessed by an impact template and by impact case studies at each discipline/unit of assessment (UoA) level (see diagram for details). 


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The University of Birmingham developed and submitted a total of 139 impact case studies and 36 impact templates across 34 UoAs. The results of the REF2014 exercise were published in December 2014, with the impact case studies and templates made available online in early in 2015. Please see examples of our submitted and ongoing research impact on the University website. For REF 2021 we expect to submit slightly fewer case studies as requirments have changed.