Royal Society of Chemistry
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The publishing of the documents submitted to REF2021 provides a rich data set which can be mined to provide insights into the research that is conducted across UK universities and how this is benefiting the world socially and economically. The Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC) recognised the significance of the REF2021 data and commissioned Research Consulting to analyse the impact and environment submissions from UOA8 (Chemistry) to provide an aggregated view of the value of chemistry research within the UK and beyond.
Our expertise in this area, including staff who worked at the forefront of REF2021, both in the submission and assessment phases, meant that in carrying out the review we were aware of the very specific criteria and limitations that govern the REF process and are important in understanding the representativeness of the source data and caveats relating to the findings. The methodological approach was anchored in thematic coding on the publicly available evidence from 113 impact case studies and 40 environment statements, aggregating the findings into the publicly available report.
Key findings from the work include:
Importantly, the report recognises that whilst the REF2021 impact and environment statements provide useful information on the discipline, it is only a partial view and comprises a sub-set of the chemistry research undertaken by UK HEIs and impact delivered from this.
The project required working to set deadlines and considerable stakeholder management, both of which were managed effectively by Research Consulting. The lead consultant brought extensive expertise of the REF and of chemistry to the project, which was instrumental in achieving our project objectives. We are very satisfied with the outputs of the work as well as the process and collaboration that got us there. Dr Karen Stroobants, Lead Policy Advisor (Research Landscape & Economy).
The examples in this report are to be celebrated. They will strengthen the RSC’s ability to make a compelling case for the value and contribution of the chemical sciences to making the world a better place.Dr Jo Reynolds, Director of Science & Communities, Royal Society of Chemistry