Research & Innovation Services

Code of practice

The University has developed a Code of Practice (CoP) which sets out the process by which the University of Bath will select staff for inclusion in its REF2014 submission. Bath’s CoP has been drafted in line with the HEFCE and Equality Challenge Unit (ECU) guidelines. It has been reviewed in detail by the University’s REF Steering Group, Research Committee, University Executive, UCU representatives and was approved by the Vice-Chancellor on July 11th 2012.

Individual Staff Circumstances

To support equality and diversity in research careers individuals may be returned in the REF with fewer than four outputs, without penalty, where their circumstances have significantly constrained their ability to produce four outputs or to work productively throughout the assessment period (1st January 2008 to 31st October 2013). This measure is intended to encourage institutions to submit all eligible staff who have produced excellent research.

These circumstances include: early career researcher status; absence from work due to part-time working; career breaks or secondments; periods of maternity, additional paternity or adoption leave; ill health or injury; disability; and other caring responsibilities. Full details, including the definition of individual circumstances, can be found in the HEFCE Panel criteria and working methods Part 1 para 69 a and b.

To ensure that REF processes are fair, the University is collecting data on individual staff circumstances from all staff eligible for submission. The data will be used to identify which staff are eligible for submission with fewer than four outputs.

Disclosure for REF

All eligible staff have been invited to disclose any circumstances which have significantly constrained their ability to work productively. If you don’t have any individual circumstances to report please report this by email as a ‘no-return’ to by 1st October 2012.

If you wish to disclose any such circumstances please download and return the REF 2014 Disclosure Form. We recommend that you save this file before starting to complete it. Please return the form to, or in hardcopy (see form for details) by 1st October 2012.

UPDATE June 2013

The form for registering circumstances which may have reduced an individual's ability to work productively during the REF period (ISC form) should now only be completed by REF eligible staff who started at the University after 31st January 2013, or by individuals who started before this date and whose circumstances have changed since 1st October 2012.

Staff in post on January 31st 2013 who did not report existing circumstances that they feel should be taken into account should raise these via the REF appeals process as set out in the University's Code of Practice paragraph 53.

If you have any queries about the most appropriate way to register such circumstances please contact Maria Wells.

Further Information

For further information about any aspect of the University’s REF preparations please contact Katy McKen, Research Information Manager. Email:

For further information or advice on completing your Individual Staff Circumstances form please contact Ian Beck, HR. Email: