Definitions

Output: The judgement of the quality of research by the REF panel, accounting for 65% of the overall profile. Researchers had to provide the equivalent of four outputs, or individual pieces of research, except where there were either mitigating circumstances or the research was so large in scope it could be “double-weighted”.

Impact: Some 20% of the overall quality profile is determined by “research impact”, defined as the effect that research has had on the economy, policy, culture, the environment or quality of life outside the academic sphere. Of this, 20% comes from an “impact template” showing how the submitting unit enables its research to have maximum impact. The other 80% is comprised of impact case studies.

Environment: The final 15% comes from an assessment of the research environment, based on the number of research doctoral degrees awarded, research grant income and research grant income in kind. This is supported by a template statement explaining the research activities and strengths of the submitting unit.

GPA: Grade point average – a simple measure of the overall or average quality of research, which takes no account of the FTE  submitted. It is calculated by multiplying the percentage of research in each grade by its rating, adding them all together and dividing by 100.  An institutional FTE-weighted GPA is calculated by multiplying the GPA for each UoA to which the institution made a submission by the FTE submitted to that UoA, adding them all together and dividing by the total number of FTEs submitted by the institution.

UoA: Units of assessment – or subject. Leeds submitted to 33 of the 36 UoAs in the REF 2014. There has been a major change in the groupings of subjects since 2008 when there were 67 UoAs. See the downloads page for a table mapping the 2008 UoAs to 2014 groupings.

Research power: This method is used by institutions and league tables and gives a measure of volume of research multiplied by quality. It can be calculated in a number of ways but its simplest form is grade point average x full time equivalent number of staff and this is the calculation used in the power ranking.

Category A staff: Academic staff whose contracts list research and/or teaching as their primary function and who are employed by the institution on the census date.

Census date: The date on which research staff affiliation is recorded; in this case 31 October 2013.

FTE: Full-time equivalent – in which part time staff are ‘added together’ to obtain an equivalent number of fulltime jobs.