MDX Research Forum

5th December 2018, 1-2pm, Room Change: C101 


‘Preparing for REF 2021’

with Katy Deepwell, Edmund Penning-Rowsell, Carol Costley

The Research Excellence Framework is happening in 2021. The process is now run by 4 newly-established Research Councils: Research England, the Scottish Funding Council (SFC), the Higher Education Funding Council for Wales (HEFCW), and the Department for the Economy, Northern Ireland (DfE).
The purpose of the REF is:
·         To provide accountability for public investment in research and produce evidence of the benefits of this investment.
·         To provide benchmarking information and establish reputational yardsticks, for use within the HE sector and for public information.
·         To inform the selective allocation of funding for research.
The exercise looks at staff outputs (60% of weighting), case studies of impact (25%), and the research environment (15%) of all HEIs. The block grant funding for research will follow the grading provided by REF.
There are now 34 panels/Units of Assessment covering all subject areas for research.
What has changed from 2014 is that it is the Unit of Assessment as a whole from each HEI which will be measured.
    For each UoA, all academic staff with significant “responsibility for research” have to be entered.
    Academic Staff – P/T or F/T – need to have produced a minimum of 1 research output between 2014-2020.  A complex calculation by FTE per UoA is used to determine an average of 2.5 outputs per 1 FTE.   This means the number of staff outputs may vary from 1-5 dependent on quality, not % of FTE.
Draft criteria determining the REF has been out for final consultation with HEIs and has now closed.
Case studies of the long-term impact of research projects will also be submitted, again the number of these is determined by the number of academic FTE staff in an HEI (for every 20 FTE, 2 case studies; or up to 80 FTE, 6 case studies). Case studies describing specific examples of impacts achieved during the assessment period (1 August 2013 to 31 July 2020), must be underpinned by research in the period 1 January 2000 to 31 December 2020.
The process for including/excluding staff has to be determined by the University as a whole, as an HR policy, and a research management strategy. Universities will be required to report to REF what their approach will be to staff for the REF by June 2019. The previous exemptions of ill-health, early-career researchers (PhDs), career breaks etc. all apply, but 2014 rules for fractional staff do not now apply, as all must submit a min. 1 output, unless the University has decided on a specific exemption process in a UoA. Outputs from people have left or retired, produced during their time of employment in an HEI may now be included by that HEI, to demonstrate investment in that research.
REF have created both Equality and Diversity Committees to review how the changes to REF will affect staff and an Interdisciplinary Committee to review how to evaluate research which does not fit into only one Unit of Assessment.
The 2021 REF will make greater use of University Repositories as a resource for checking material. From April 2016, all articles and conference papers have been subject to Open Access rules for deposit in repositories. This does not apply to books, chapters in books, or longer form publications or non-text outputs. It is highly likely that “portfolios” of evidence for outputs submitted in practice-based disciplines will still be used.
Draft guidance for consultation was issued on 23 July 2018 and the consultation on criteria with all HEI’s closed in October 2018. See
Please register or just come along. It is informal.
You are welcome to bring your lunch as we are not able to provide catering at this event

The Fair of European Innovators in Cultural Heritage

As part of 2018 European Year of Cultural Heritage, the European Commission Directorate General for Research and Innovation (DG RTD), is holding a Fair of European Innovators in Cultural Heritage, on 15-16 November in Brussels.

The event will demonstrate how Research and Innovation is contributing to the EU Action Plan on Cultural Heritage. The objective is to demonstrate EU efforts in promoting research and innovation in cultural heritage, fostering creativity and new connections across countries. Around 300 participants are expected, representing researchers, innovation providers, policy makers, cultural institutions, start-ups, pioneers from technology and the creative sector, as well as other European institutions.

The two-day agenda offers plenary and breakout sessions, inspirational talks, round-tables and pitches from innovators and participants in Horizon 2020 projects. Speakers include high-level representatives of various Directorates General of the European Commission, UNESCO and other key stakeholders.

The Community of Innovators in Cultural Heritage and its platform will be launched during the Fair. It is a new initiative started by the Horizon 2020 ‘Marina’ and ‘ROCK’ projects to create a web-platform to engage with cultural heritage stakeholders. It will be open to all innovators, researchers, practitioners, ‘change-makers’, entrepreneurs and ‘end-users’ of innovations. The platform will help promote innovative products and services and share updates, news and events.

The conference is free of charge and registration is available on-line.