Making science work for development

UKCDS analysis of research's impact on development

8 June 2015

As part of our work exploring UK research's impact on development, we commissioned an analysis of the impact case studies submitted to the 2014 Research Excellence Framework (REF). 

The analysis, conducted by the Policy Institute at King's College Londondemonstrates that UK higher education institution’s research for international development often spans traditional scientific disciplines, has an effect on many countries and achieves lasting impact in a number of different ways.

Overall it analysed 287 impact case studies either directly relevant to international development or the UK Department for International Development.

The key findings were:

From agriculture to infrastructure, from crime to social protection, UK international development research has an impact across a range of societal sectors. 

International development research crosses traditional scientific disciplines.

Research was supported by a range of funders.

UK research has a global reach.

Our analysis helped inform a report that went to new Ministers in the UK government and was featured in a Research Fortnight news bulletin.

For more information see:

Our work on the REF impact case studies doesn't stop there. We're currently shortlisting the very best cases studies we can find to help raise awareness of the excellence and value of UK development research. We're also scoping what else we could learn from the REF case studies with another, deeper analysis. So far our thoughts are on mutli-disciplinarity, in terms of funders, research and impact. 

  • Impact
  • Research uptake and impact
  • KCL Policy Institute


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