REF Impact Observations

Shortly we will learn the REF panel criteria and guidance submissions due to be published in July.  At BU we have engaged with some excellent initiatives such as the recent REF event to help focus our approach to the impact case studies. The measurement of benefit that UK research has on society is an opportunity to understand the value of our work. Already it is well documented that the concept of research impact has for the moment protected some sources of external funding at least for the next few years. As academics concerned with the REF we now need to consider delivering the evidence of our research impact from 2008 resulting from good BU research. This research could have happened almost as far back as 1993.

Impact is a difficult concept and not easy to measure in terms of the REF. From an engineering viewpoint impact is difficult to quantify as like the REF it involves knowledge of time in addition to the force. Engineering impact force increases as time decreases. This view of time relates to the general research impact debate. We now have the opportunity to look back and review BU research almost over the lifetime of the University.