Public funding for research in Higher Education in England is distributed through the ‘dual-support system’ with funding coming through either the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) in the form of a ‘block grant’, or through UK Research Councils for specific projects. HEFCE distributes its £1.6 billion annual block-grant quality-related (QR) funding based on a cyclical assessment of research quality; the Research Excellence Framework (REF).

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