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Research Excellence Framework - initial decisions

📥  REF

After a long wait over the summer HEFCE have now published the initial decisions on the Research Excellence Framework 2021.  A summary of the main decisions can be found below.

It’s also worth noting that they are now inviting applications for the sub-panel chairs; to apply see Annex B of the initial decisions on the REF document. The deadline for applications is 11 October 2017.

Main decisions

General:

The assessment outcomes will be the product of expert review, informed by indicators where appropriate.  Profile weightings will be as follows;

  • Outputs 60%
  • Impact 25%
  • Environment 15%

Unit of Assessment Structure:

Several UoAs have been revised;

  • There will be a single UoA for engineering, with a formalised sub-group structure
  • UoA 17 will be restructured as follows: UoA 14 Geography and Environmental studies and UoA 15 Archaeology
  • Film and Screen studies will be located in UoA 33 (currently 35) Music, Drama, Dance, Performing Arts and Screen Studies

Institutional level assessment

  • There will be no institutional level impact case studies though HEFCE will run a pilot which will affect future exercises.
  • There will be no institutional level Environment statement.  Institutional level information will be included in the UoA-level environment template.

Interdisciplinary research

  • Each sub-panel will have at least one member appointed to oversee the assessment of interdisciplinary research
  • To enable better identification of interdisciplinary research an ‘interdisciplinary identifier’ for outputs will be included, with a clear definition and guidance for its use.

Environment:

  • The environment template will be more structured and use more quantitative data.
  • There will be a “discrete” section of the environment template devoted to interdisciplinary research.
  • There will be no impact template but it will be an “explicit section in the environment element”
  • The revised template will include a section on ‘open research’, detailing the approach to open access and open data

Impact

  • There will be an alignment of the definitions for impact so that Research Council definitions of ‘academic impact’ and ‘wider impact’ align with the purposes of the REF.
  • There will be additional guidance on the criteria of ‘reach and significance’ and impacts arising from public engagement.
  • Impact on teaching will include teaching within the university as well as beyond; additional guidance to follow
  • Impact will stay with the institution where the research was conducted
  • Underpinning research will remain at 2*
  • The period for underpinning research will be 1 January 2000- 31 December 2020
  • Impact can occur from 1 August 2013 to 31 July 2020
  • Case studies can be a continuation of a 2014 Case study but they will need to provide evidence of additional impact.
  • A similar number of case studies to 2014 will be required.

There is also a consultation open requesting views (PDF) on questions on staff and output portability.  The University will respond to this; if you have any views to inform this response please do contact Katy McKen.

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