Translating research into practice: CoR webinar for REF

The College of Radiographers has developed a webinar to help create a research impact case for the 2029 Research Excellence Framework

Published: 15 May 2024 Researchers

The College of Radiographers has developed a webinar for creating a research impact case, for the 2029 Research Excellence Framework.

The webinar, entitled 'Translating Research into Practice,' aims to help radiographers to meet the standards of the Research Excellence Framework (REF), the UK’s system for assessing the quality of research in UK higher education institutions.

'Advances in engaging in research'

Julie Woodley, a panel member on the REF, sat down with Peter Hogg, emeritus professor at University of Salford where he led the diagnostic imaging research programme from 2008 to 2018, and Emma Sutton, impact manager at the University of Salford, who was responsible for putting together the institution’s case study submission for the previous REF in 2021.

Together, they explain how to demonstrate that radiographers' research is utilised in practice and what to expect when submitting to the 2029 REF.

Professor Hogg said: “The radiography profession has made good advances in engaging in research. However, there is a need to demonstrate how the research we do is utilised in practice, this is called ‘impact’ by REF. 

“Not only is research’s use important for patients, it is also important for the REF. Among other things, REF evaluates research impact and if impact is good enough it can attract substantial amounts of funding for the organisation to enable further research to be done.”

The Research Excellence Framework

The REF is a process of expert review carried out by sub-panels focusing on subject-based units of assessment, under the guidance of overarching main and advisory panels. Panels are made up of senior academics, international members and research users.

The REF aims to provide accountability for public investment in research, and provide evidence of the benefits of this investment.

Professor Hogg added: “My personal view on the REF is that it’s actually quite a useful exercise. It’s got some really good criteria. You can shape your research centre’s philosophy and practice.”

'Freely accessible and widely available'

The outputs of publicly funded research should be “freely accessible and widely available”, according to the REF’s guidance. Open access to research brings benefits to:

  • researchers
  • students
  • institutions
  • governments
  • public bodies
  • professionals and practitioners
  • citizen scientists

It also supports the provision of benchmarking information and helps establish national “yardsticks” for use in higher education and for public information.

REF outcomes are used to inform the allocation of around £2 billion per year of public funding for university research. 

For 2029, the REF is also accepting in-scope journal-based publications. 

The REF first took place in 2014 and 2021. More information can be found on the REF website.

View the webinar here.  

(Image: UniversalImagesGroup, via GettyImages)