Higher Education Funding Council England (HEFCE)
REF panel membership appointments announced
The first set of panel members for the next Research Excellence Framework has been confirmed.
The four UK higher education funding bodies (Note 1) have announced the appointment of members to the main panel and sub-panels for the first stage of the REF 2021 exercise, the criteria-setting phase (Notes 2, 3). This follows a nominations process, when subject associations and other organisations with an interest in research were invited to nominate candidates (Note 3).
The panel members include leading researchers and individuals with expertise in the wider use and benefits of research, as well as members with an international perspective on the main panels. Each main and sub-panel also includes at least one member who will take up a new role introduced for REF 2021, overseeing and taking part in the assessment of interdisciplinary research (Note 4).
The sub-panel members appointed for this stage will help develop the main panel criteria over the course of 2018. This reflects the funding bodies’ decision that this should involve wider input than the main panels alone. Responding to consultation feedback, in September 2017 the funding bodies confirmed they would appoint sufficient sub-panel members for this first phase to ensure there is appropriate expertise for developing the criteria (Note 5).
Where suitable nominations were received, the funding bodies have also appointed some of the members who will join the sub-panels for the later assessment phase of REF 2021. They will take up their panel roles in 2020. The proportion appointed varies across the sub-panels depending on the expertise requirements of each unit of assessment (UOA).
The funding bodies will appoint further sub-panel members and assessors in 2020, following a survey of institutions’ intentions to submit to the REF. The survey will show how changes to the submission process may affect the volume and spread of submissions expected in each UOA, and will enable the panels to cover identified expertise requirements responsively.
As part of the aim to increase the representativeness of the expert panels, the funding bodies and the Equality and Diversity Advisory Panel will analyse the panel membership compared with the pool of nominees. They will also review the information provided by nominating bodies on how equality and diversity issues were taken into account in their nominations process in order to identify examples of good practice.
- The four UK funding bodies are the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE), the Scottish Funding Council, the Higher Education Funding Council for Wales and the Department for the Economy, Northern Ireland.
From 1 April 2018 HEFCE’s research and knowledge exchange functions will move to a newly-created council, Research England, within the new organisation UK Research and Innovation. Research England will assume joint responsibility with the other three UK funding bodies for undertaking the REF, with the REF team based at Research England from this date.
- The lists of panel members are available at www.ref.ac.uk/about/membership.
Further members are still to be appointed by the four funding bodies to a small number of panels. An updated membership list will be published when the process is complete.
- The REF is the UK’s system for assessing the excellence of research in higher education institutions. The REF was first carried out in 2014, replacing the previous Research Assessment Exercise.
The REF 2021 exercise will take place in three phases. The criteria phase in 2018 will include the development of the detailed guidance and criteria for the assessment; the submissions phase in 2019-20 will include the preparation and completion of submissions by UK higher education institutions; and the assessment phase in 2020-21 will include the preparation for and consequent assessment of submissions by the expert panels.
- Details of the nominations process can be found in ‘Roles and recruitment of the expert panels’ (REF 2017/03).
- See ‘Initial Decisions on the Research Excellence Framework 2021’ (REF 2017/01).
- For press enquiries, contact one of the following:
- Liz McCarty, tel 0117 931 7431
- Henny Fordham, tel 0117 931 7087
- Helen Albon, tel 0117 931 7076
- Paul Whittemore, tel 0117 931 7460
Latest News from
Higher Education Funding Council England (HEFCE)
Innovators across the North East get a multi-million pound Industrial Strategy boost29/03/2018 16:10:00
New £15 million investment will range from improving commercial research from four North East Universities to boosting the bioeconomy across the Tees Valley
Differences in student degree and employment outcomes29/03/2018 09:10:00
This report examines how outcomes vary for different student groups based on a range of factors including gender, disability, educational disadvantage, age, ethnicity and entry qualifications.
Universities receive £1.5 million to support mental health and wellbeing for postgraduate research students23/03/2018 14:05:00
Funding totalling £1.5 million has been awarded by HEFCE to 17 universities in England, to improve support for the mental health and wellbeing of postgraduate research students.
Why students should take part in the National Student Survey22/03/2018 12:25:00
Students across the country are being encouraged to participate in this year’s National Student Survey (NSS), which closes on 30 April 2018.
New medical training places announced under expansion programme21/03/2018 12:25:00
The Department of Health and Social Care has announced the second phase of a medical training expansion programme which is funding a total of 1,500 new medical student places.
Financial health of the higher education sector: variable performance trend continues20/03/2018 12:15:00
The financial results for the English higher education sector in 2016-17 were sound overall, but there is significant variation in the financial performance and position of individual universities and colleges.
Subject-level TEF: Government consultation14/03/2018 13:25:00
The Department for Education is inviting responses to a technical consultation on development of the TEF at subject level.
HEFCE conference brings together universities and colleges working on safeguarding students21/02/2018 11:10:00
The February 2018 conference will enable project teams to begin to establish communities of practice for key safeguarding areas and to share best practice.