Impact

Information on the impact component of REF2021, including the relevant assessment criteria and FAQs.

The information on the impact component of REF2021 is taken from the documents Draft guidance on submissions (2018/01) (GoS) and Consultation on the panel criteria and working methods (2018/02) (PCWM) published by the REF team in July 2018. The documents are currently under consultation and details are subject to change.

Draft guidance on submissions (2018/01) from the REF2021 website

Consultation on the panel criteria and working methods (2018/02) from the REF2021 website

Impact in REF2021

  Description Reference
Weighting 25% of outcome awarded to submission. GoS 33.b
Assessed on Reach and significance of impacts on economy, society, culture, public policy/services, health, the environment or quality of life. GoS 33.b
Number required A minimum of two case studies for the first 20 FTE submitted, with a further case study required per 15 FTE up to 160 FTE after which one further case study is required per additional 50 FTE. Informatics will likely return nine impact case studies. GoS 303
Period covered

Impacts: 01 August 2013 - 31 July 2020

Underpinning research: 01 January 2000 - 31 December 2020

GoS 305

Draft guidance on submissions (2018/01) from the REF2021 website

Detailed assessment criteria for impact case studies

  Description Reference
Reach

Reach will be understood as the extent and/or diversity of the beneficiaries of the impact, as relevant to the nature of the impact.

Reach will be assessed in terms of the extent to which the potential constituencies, number or groups of beneficiaries have been affected; it will not be assessed in geographic terms, nor in terms of absolute numbers of beneficiaries. The criteria will be applied wherever the impact has been felt, regardless of geography or location, and whether in the UK or abroad.

PCWM 276, 279
Significance Significance will be understood as the degree to which the impact has enabled, enriched, influenced, informed or changed the performance, policies, practices, products, services, understanding, awareness or well-being of the beneficiaries. PCWM 277

Consultation on the panel criteria and working methods (2018/02) from the REF2021 website

Starred level definitions for impact case studies

  General criteria from GoS annex A, table A3
Four star Outstanding impacts in terms of their reach and significance.
Three star Very considerable impacts in terms of their reach and significance.
Two star Considerable impacts in terms of their reach and significance.
One star Recognised but modest impacts in terms of their reach and significance.
Unclassified The impact is of little or no reach and significance; or the impact was not eligible; or the impact was not underpinned by excellent research produced by the submitted unit.

Draft guidance on submissions (2018/01) from the REF2021 website