Evaluation of the UK Research Partnership Investment Fund

Graduation cap formed by lines and triangles on a black background, photo by pickup/Adobe Stock.

Photo by pickup/Adobe Stock

What is the issue?

The UK Research Partnership Investment Fund (UKRPIF) supports investment in higher education facilities across the UK and promotes strategic collaboration with industry. Set up by Research England (previously HEFCE) in 2012, the fund offers large scale investments of between £10m and £50m per higher education capital project, provided they could leverage double that investment in matched funding from private sector sources.

In total, £900m of RPIF funding has been allocated to 53 projects over 6 rounds of funding with further rounds to be awarded. The objectives of the Fund are to:

  • Enhance the research facilities of higher education providers undertaking world-leading research;
  • Encourage strategic partnerships between higher education providers and other organisations active in research;
  • Stimulate additional investment in higher education research; and
  • Strengthen the contribution of the research base to economic growth.

How are we helping?

RAND Europe and Frontier Economics were commissioned by Research England to carry out a programme-level evaluation to assess the extent to which investment in higher education providers through the UKRPIF programme has been effective in achieving the desired objectives to enhance research facilities, encourage strategic partnerships, stimulate additional investment in higher education research and contribute to economic growth.

The study will run over 5 years and relies on a combination of quantitative and qualitative research methods to understand the longer-term R&I impacts as well as the wider societal and economic benefits of this large programme. The specific research methods include the mapping of existing data from previously awarded higher education providers, along with periodic metrics collection, in-depth interviews, case studies and workshops with project leads.