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Research impact

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Task and Finish Working Group

This cross-sector Group will support the SFC in developing and implementing a programme of work, building on the suite of reports published in 2023, to meaningfully demonstrate the impact of R&I funding, including SFC core R&I funding, to Scotland’s society and economy.

We are inviting invite applications to be part of its new Value of research and innovation (R&I) in Scotland Task and Finish Working Group.

Society, economy and the value of SFC funding

The benefits of research carried out in Scottish universities reach far beyond academia. They extend into the lives of people not only in this country but in many other parts of the world.

In 2023 three separate studies provided fresh insights into the benefits to the economy and to wider society of Scottish university research. A report from RAND Europe considers the impact on society, a report from the Fraser of Allander Institute considers the impact on the economy and a new report from SFC explains how SFC’s Research Excellence Grant underpins the whole research system.

Each report contains a wealth of evidence and together they create a detailed and robust picture of the impact of research carried out in Scotland’s universities.

Our overview report [PDF] summarises the main findings and draws conclusions from across the three reports.

The report from RAND Europe analyses data from the impact case studies generated by the 2021 Research Excellence Framework (REF), the UK-wide exercise to assess university research. You can also read a short summary of the RAND Europe report.

The report from the Fraser of Allander Institute looks at the economic impact of university research funding in Scotland. It estimates the economic contribution to Scotland’s economy of SFC’s funding, and models the economic contribution of all research and development in Scottish universities. A diagram and set of infographics [PDF] illustrate the key findings.

Finally, SFC’s own report [PDF] uses case studies from every university in Scotland to illustrate the uses of its Research Excellence Grant (REG) and the grant’s unique value within the overall research system.

Contributing to global challenges

Our 2022 report Scotland’s Contribution to National and International Challenges looked at Scottish universities’ contribution to the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals as another way of understanding the scope and depth of Scotland’s research impact. The report includes statistics and case studies for each of the 17 goals.

SFC Strategic Plan 2022-27

Building a connected, agile, sustainable tertiary education and research system for Scotland.

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