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Parliamentary debates and questions

S5W-13787: Ash Denham (Edinburgh Eastern)

Scottish National Party

Date lodged: 11 January 2018

To ask the Scottish Government what assessment (a) it and (b) its agencies has carried out of the impact of (i) the Research Excellence Grant and (ii) other higher education research funding provided since 2009-10.

Answered by: Shirley-Anne Somerville 25 January 2018

The Research Excellence Grant (REG) is allocated by the Scottish Funding Council (SFC) and supports world-leading research in Scottish universities, ensuring Scotland remains globally competitive and attractive to the best researchers.

In 2014, the then Cabinet Secretary for Education and Lifelong Learning, Michael Russell MSP, in his 2014-15 letter of guidance, asked the SFC, once the outcome of the Research Excellence Framework (REF) was known, to review the Research Excellence Grant and Research Postgraduate Grant, in preparation for future funding decisions to ensure they remained fit for purpose and continued to support research excellence.

The SFC carried out this consultation in 2014-15 and a revised Research Excellence Grant formula was agreed and supported by the sector. Changes to the Research Excellence Grant and Research Postgraduate Grant were implemented from Academic Year 2015-16 onwards.

Funding via the Research Excellence Grant takes full account of the REF scores which incorporate full recognition of the impact of research.