DfES: Reform of higher education research assessment and funding

17 August 2006

Alongside the 2006 Budget, HM Treasury, with Department for Trade and Industry, Department for Education and Skills and Department of Health, published Science & innovation investment framework: the next steps. This stated that the Government would launch a consultation on a new system for assessing research quality based on metrics. In June 2006 the consultation on the Reform of higher education research assessment and funding was launched, offering five funding models based on different types of research income metrics.

The Society has repeatedly called for a review of research assessment post 2008 (see papers below) and we agree with Government that a review is required. However, our conclusion is that the proposed income metric based models are not appropriate, and we feel there is merit in exploring ways forward that are not covered by the options presented in the consultation. There is scope to simplify and better target the collection of quantitative data to underpin the work of peer review panels, but we do not believe that it is sensible to dispense with the panels. The Society is keen to support the Government in reaching an effective solution.