The Research Excellence Framework (REF) is the current system for assessing the quality of research in UK higher education institutions. The most recent exercise took place in 2014 and the full UK-wide results are available here. The results determine the selective annual allocation of quality-related (QR) grant distribution from the Higher Education Funding Councils for Wales, England (Research England), the Scottish Funding Council (SFC) and the Department for the Economy, Northern Ireland (DfE). The assessment provides accountability for public investment in research and produces evidence of the benefits of this investment. The assessment outcomes provide benchmarking information and establish reputational yardsticks for use within the higher education sector and for public information. The REF assesses research excellence through a process of discipline-based expert review, informed by appropriate quantitative indicators. For further information please see the REF 2021 website.