The Research Excellence Framework (REF): new developments to assess research in higher education institutions and its impact on society.
Journal: MIDIRS Midwifery Digest
A large part of research conducted at UK universities is funded from the public purse and this has implications with regard to the government’s need to determine the impact on society of state-funded research. However, to capture more of a sense of the impact of research, a new system which is called the Research Excellence Framework (REF) will aim to assess the quality of academic research in all disciplines and integral to this will be identification of the impact thatof University funded research has had on society and the economy.
This paper addresses some of these key issues and offers some possible ways of generating the ‘evidence’ of non-academic impact of research conducted in the field of midwifery and maternity care. We start with the fundamental question: ‘What does the REF consider to be impact?’