REF 2014: which subjects are generating the greatest research?

The results from REF 2014 are out, provoking sighs of relief (or despair) from university personnel across the country. But amid the flurry to determine which United kingdom institutions have ranked best, we take a closer seem at how distinct topic areas have fared.

Topic places: the big trends

If you are acquainted with the REF then you will know that all subject places have been incorporated into 4 principal panels. To sum them up, panel A relates broadly to health, panel B to engineering and the sciences, panel C to a mixture of social science, law and architecture, and B to the arts.

All investigation is ranked among one and 4 stars. At the moment only three* and four* investigation is funded, though Hefce is nevertheless to announce how REF 2014 funding will be distributed.

Results demonstrate that, total, subjects that fall underneath panel B – ie the sciences/engineering – have received the highest proportion of 3* and four* analysis, at 83%.

But panel A, the well being topics, is a near 2nd, with 81% of study getting ranked at the very same degree. And, if you appear only at the very highest investigation ranking – four*s, which is described as “world-leading” – then panel A really comes out leading. Its accomplishment is driven by large influence and surroundings scores.

Benefits from REF 2014 displaying the highest ranked university departments for planet-top and internationally excellence analysis.

Who has the biggest effect?

A modify to the framework for assessing analysis good quality means that university personnel now have to describe what influence their function has had outside of academia. This has proved controversial, with some arguing that influence is extremely hard to measure, and tougher to illustrate in particular subject regions.

Common profiles for the main panels recommend that well being subjects have been much more probably to illustrate effect – 91% of well being submissions have been awarded 3* or four* for impact, whilst 60.9% have been awarded four*s.

Across the board, the average amount of investigation submissions gaining the top two grades for effect was 83.9%.

The subjects that have been most probably to have analysis tasks awarded the best two grades for this category are as adhere to:

  1. Clinical medicine has the highest proportion of 3* and four* study when judged by influence alone, at 96%
  2. Second is public wellness, health services and principal care, in which 94.eight% of research is rated 3* or 4* for research effect
  3. Third is chemistry, the place 92.2% is rated three* or 4* for research effect

The topics that had been least most likely to score highly in the very same group had been sports activities and workout science, philosophy and laptop science and informatics.

A healthful environment

The environment in which a piece of research is made – such as the number of PhD students working there – accounted for 15% of the all round score. Broadly speaking, overall health topics have been much more likely to carry out hugely in this class. On average, 91.four% of well being study was deemed both three* or 4*.

At topic degree, the best doing regions were

  1. Public wellness, overall health companies and primary care – 96.5% of research was ranked three* or four* research for atmosphere
  2. 2nd was clinical medicine, in which 95.5% of study was regarded as three* or four*
  3. Third was biological sciences – 94% of this kind of investigation ranked in the top two categories for atmosphere

At the bottom of the table was computer science and informatics (69.9% at 3* and 4* level), schooling (73.4%) and sport and physical exercise science, leisure and tourism (74.9%).

Much more like this:

5 reasons why the REF is not match for purpose‬‬‬
Struggle for leading study grades fuels bullying amid university staff
Measuring impact: how Australia and the United kingdom are tackling analysis evaluation

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