Responding to the publication of the Research Excellence Framework 2021, Sir Adrian Smith, President of the Royal Society, said:
"REF 2021 shows the continuing depth and breadth of research excellence across the whole of the UK. Recognising and rewarding excellence wherever it exists is essential for nurturing scientific talent and discoveries and ensuring the benefits of research and innovation feed downstream into society.
"Now the current REF cycle is complete we have an opportunity to think about research assessment in the round – what elements we should retain from the previous exercise and what should be done differently next time. A high performing research environment requires a wide range of people with different skills and competencies, and a system of recognition and reward that does more to reflect this.
"Finally, today’s REF results should strengthen the case for increases in long-term core funding for basic research. This will support the UK’s ability to pursue ideas, technologies, and innovations that could deliver transformative change over time."