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Introduction to the RAE2008 submissions

The 2008 Research Assessment Exercise (RAE2008) was a UK-wide exercise to assess the quality of research conducted in publicly funded higher education institutions in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. The RAE team1 invited HEIs to provide information about their research activity in the form of a separate submission to each of 67 subjects or units of assessment (UOAs).

For each submission, HEIs provided data about research activity undertaken from 2001 to 2007, including about research active staff and their published research outputs, the research environment in which they operated and indicators of esteem conferred on those staff as individuals or groups. Details about the census date, assessment period and publication period are in "About RAE2008".

A panel of subject experts for each UOA assessed submissions during 2008 and awarded a quality profile to each: this profiled the proportions of research activity in the submission that was judged by the panel to meet each of five quality levels from unclassified, through to world-leading. The funding bodies will use the quality profiles as the basis for awarding research funding to their HEIs.

The data in the published submissions were collected by the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) on behalf of the four UK funding bodies. The data can be viewed online or downloaded. There are two options for online viewing: by institution or by UOA. Having selected an option, users can view and print each submission in sections, corresponding with the forms through which the data was originally collected.

Since submissions were made, the RAE team has checked the data and made a number of amendments through a detailed process of data verification and audit. The published submissions include all such data amendments.

Detailed information about RAE2008

Quality profiles for each submission

Disclaimer: this website does not provide a complete record of all research conducted in UK higher education institutions.

RAE2008 submissions

The information provided on this website is not a complete record of all research conducted in UK higher education institutions (HEIs). Information is provided here on each RAE2008 submission made by each eligible UK HEI. Only publicly funded HEIs were eligible to make submissions. Furthermore, these HEIs had the discretion to decide in which subject areas (units of assessment - UOAs) to submit and which of their eligible staff to include in each UOA submission. In deciding which eligible staff to include in submissions, HEIs were required to develop and adopt an internal code of practice which attended to all relevant equal opportunities legislation in force on the census date.

Therefore, staff in HEIs could not themselves decide whether their research work was submitted to the RAE, nor what particular aspects of their work were submitted.

Each submission contains details of submitted staff: individuals who were actively engaged in research on the census date of 31 October 2007. Since decisions on which staff to include in submissions lay with HEIs, the list of names of individuals in each submission does not necessarily constitute a full list of the staff who were active in research in that subject and HEI on the census date.

These published submissions contain all the substantive data that HEIs included in their submissions, apart from confidential data. Some data are presented in aggregate. The data were collected in a series of Forms from RA0 through to Form RA5c: tooltips within these web pages describe the content of each published Form.

Data excluded from publication due to their confidential nature include:

  • Personal and contractual data about submitted staff, in accordance with the Data Protection Act (1998)
  • Details of research outputs in Form RA2 in the category Confidential Report
  • Form RA5b (Individual staff circumstances): this described the personal circumstances of submitted staff that may have significantly and adversely affected their contribution to the submission
  • Information marked by HEIs in Form RA5a (Research environment and esteem indicators) as confidential because of its commercial or other sensitivity: this might include, for example, information about researchers and their work that could potentially be to the detriment of their personal safety.


1. The RAE team was based at the Higher Education Funding Council for England, HEFCE and acted on behalf of the Scottish, Welsh and Northern Ireland higher education funding bodies.