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Research in higher education institutions is publicly funded through what is known as the dual support system; under this system money for specific research projects comes from the Research Councils and funding for research infrastructure comes from the regional funding councils in the form of a block grant. Since 1986 block grant funding has been selectively distributed to institutions using data obtained in some form of research assessment process. The most recent design of the process is the Research Excellence Framework (REF). The REF took several years to develop and the first submissions were made in January 2013. The results of the REF 2014 were announced in December 2014 and consequent funding allocations will be disclosed in March 2015. This note discusses the development of the REF, the results announced in December 2014 and issues around the REF and research funding


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