Nov 9, 2023
RAND Europe and partners conducted a study to understand the broader societal impacts of research conducted at Scottish higher education institutions, as represented by the 2021 Research Excellence Framework (REF) Impact Case Studies. The research examines the corpus of 746 impact case studies using a mixed-methods approach that involved topic modelling, geotagging, text searches, bibliometric analysis, infographics and deep dives.
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The Research Excellence Framework (REF) is a system for assessing the range and quality of academic research conducted at universities in the United Kingdom (UK). It is undertaken by the four UK higher education funding bodies: Research England, the Scottish Funding Council (SFC), the Higher Education Funding Council for Wales (HEFCW) and the Department for the Economy, Northern Ireland (DfE). The SFC commissioned RAND Europe, together with Electric Data Solutions and Different Angles, to conduct a study to review the breadth and depth of Scottish higher education’s research impact beyond academia, as represented in the REF 2021 Impact Case Studies. The corpus of 746 case studies provides a rich resource for analysing the broader societal impacts of Scottish university research, reflecting Scottish higher education research's diversity and reach.
The study provides an in-depth examination of Scottish university Impact Case Studies using a bespoke, mixed-methods research approach that involved a range of quantitative and qualitative analyses such as topic modelling, geotagging, text searches, bibliometric analysis, infographics and deep dives. This report is intended for a range of stakeholders including those interested in higher education research, the REF and research assessment, and more generally to anyone interested in the impact of universities on society.
What is this study about?
What are Scotland's particular research impact strengths?
How does research collaboration affect Scottish universities' research impact?
How are Scottish universities contributing to Scotland's NPF outcomes?
What contributions have SFC innovation investments made?
Further information to help interpret this report's results