The Research Assessment Exercise (RAE) is the method by which the quality of all UK university research is assessed.
The RAE is conducted jointly by the Higher Education funding councils including: the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE); the Scottish Higher Education Funding Council (SHEFC); the Higher Education Funding Council for Wales (HEFCW), and the Department for Employment and Learning, Northern Ireland (DELNI).
The RAE provides a transparent process for assessing the research output of universities and provides some consistent measure between universities at the time the RAE is undertaken. Work assessed by the RAE is considered by panels formed of experts drawn from the academic community.
The RAE will be replaced with the Research Excellence Framework (REF) in 2014.