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Issue 467, 21 May 2001

High goals for Leeds RAE

The University’s submission for the 2001 research assessment exercise (RAE) has been safely delivered to the funding council. The submission has taken over three years to complete, involved over 1,300 members of staff and a total of 4,746 publications, and yet managed to fit into a A4 copy paper box.

Over a hundred staff across the University helped to produce the submission, including academic and administrative staff in the departments assessed and the RAE working group and data teams. The whole process was overseen by the RAE steering group, chaired by Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Research, Professor Chris Taylor.

Professor Taylor said: "This has been an enormous undertaking, and thanks are due to all those staff who have worked very hard to produce the best possible submission from the University. We are confident that the results will reflect our position as a high-class research institution, and ensure that we receive improved funding for the excellent research conducted here."

The RAE enables the higher education funding bodies to distribute public money for research selectively on the basis of quality: institutions conducting the best research receive a larger proportion of the available grant. Around £5billion will be distributed following the 2001 RAE, and the University currently receives £25 million each year by this route.

Research is graded from 1 to 5* and of the 47 areas assessed at the University, 17 aim to achieve grade 4, 22 grade 5 and 8 grade 5*. No area is expected to receive less than a grade 4 rating. The RAE takes place every 5 years, and the 2001 assessment covered the period from 1 January 1996 (1994 for arts/humanities) to 31 December 2000. The results will be made public in December 2001.

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