Our response to HEFCE's consultation on proposed changes allocation methods for the research degree programme supervision fund welcomes increased funding and encourages the linkage of funding with research quality
Response submitted 2011
The Royal Geographical Society (with The Institute of British Geographers) welcomes this opportunity to comment on HEFCE’s consultation on “allocation method for postgraduate research funding from 2012-13”
We welcome changes to the allocation method for the research degree programme (RDP) supervision fund from 2012-13, especially the proposed increase in funds by £35 million (in addition to the current £205 million).
We support the proposal to link the allocation of RDP supervision funding to quality as this will best support meeting the aim of HEFCE to support the supervision of students in higher-quality research environments.
No response provided
We do wish to note that while the value of an institution’s RDP grant relative to its mainstream QR grant provides a useful indicator of the sustainability of postgraduate supervisory activity at whole-institution level, some universities, which contain some clusters of research excellence with strong PhD programmes, may lose out in the future. University ‘averages’ may dilute funds allocated to currently strong PhD programmes.
A formula based on successful completions within specific outlets (e.g. within REF units of assessment) would enable more specific targeting of funds. The latter would allow recognition of those outlets that traditionally have done well with respect to PhD supervision and completions, rather than favouring weaker outlets embedded within strong research institutions.
Our response to the consultation on topics for the 2021 Census in England and Wales explains how census data is used by geographers, and the importance of consistency in census definitions.
We recommend the inclusion of subject bodies as key information providers and highlight the Society's provision of subject choice advice.
Our response emphasises the role of geography as an independent but highly-connected discipline, and advocates for subject expertise and greater time made available in the teaching of geography.
A call for evidence on the REF as part of Lord Stern's independent review. Our response stresses that current metrics, and definitions of output and impact, do not adequately assess research, particularly in interdisciplinary contexts.
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