HEFCE consultation on the Research Excellence Framework (REF)

The four UK higher education funding bodies are currently consulting on proposals for the Research Excellence Framework (REF), which replaces the Research Assessment Exercise (RAE). The consultation sets out proposals for all key aspects of the framework and invites responses from across the UK.

Responses are invited from the higher education sector as well as organisations with an interest in the use and impact of research – from the private, public and third sectors.

HEFCE 2009/38 sets out proposals for all key features of the REF. These include:

  • defining research excellence and the key features of the assessment framework
  • assessing the quality of research outputs – including the use of citation information
  • assessing the impact of research on the economy and society
  • assessing the research environment •the overall outcomes of the assessment
  • the configuration of panels and Units of Assessment (UOAs), and how to achieve appropriate levels of consistency between these
  • measures to promote equalities and diversity
  • the timetable for implementation of the REF
  • the accountability burden implications of the REF.

Responses to the consultation should be e-mailed to ref@hefce.ac.uk by 16 December 2009.

Link to HEFCE 2009/38: http://www.hefce.ac.uk/pubs/hefce/2009/09_38/

Link to an overview about the consultation: http://www.hefce.ac.uk/research/ref/develop/

Link to a brief guide on the REF proposals (PDF): http://www.hefce.ac.uk/research/ref/resources/REFguide.pdf

Also of interest is the JISC infoNet case study about the ICT impact of REF, featuring the University of Birmingham: http://www.jiscinfonet.ac.uk/case-studies/ref/birmingham

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