Research & Innovation Services

Research Excellence Framework (REF)

The Research Excellence Framework (REF) is the new system for assessing the quality of research in UK Higher Education Institutions (HEIs). It replaces the Research Assessment Exercise (RAE). The REF submission deadline for HEIs was 29 November 2013 with the results announced on 18 December 2014.

The Research Excellence Framework (REF) results are now available.

REF consists of three elements:

  • Research Outputs (65%)
  • Impact (20%)
  • Environment (15%)

Further details are available through the HEFCE REF webpages.

The University of Bath preparations for the REF were led by Professor Jane Millar, Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Research), and co-ordinated by Katy McKen, Research Information Manager.

Meet the people behind the research.

Steering Group

A university-wide Steering Group (chaired by the Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Research) was established to oversee the preparation of the University’s REF submission. Preparation of submissions in each Unit of Assessment were led by UoA Leaders.

Code of Practice

The University developed a Code of Practice on the selection of staff for submission to the REF. This includes full details of how staff should register circumstances which have considerably constrained their ability to produce four outputs or to work productively throughout the assessment period.

An equality impact assessment for the REF 2014 has now been completed and has shown that there was no evidence of any equality related issues the REF selection processes.

What are REF results used for?

The primary purpose of the REF is to produce assessment outcomes for each submission made by institutions:

  • The funding bodies intend to use the assessment outcomes to inform the selective allocation of their research funding to HEIs, with effect from 2015-16.
  • The assessment provides accountability for public investment in research and produces evidence of the benefits of this investment.
  • The assessment outcomes provide benchmarking information and establish reputational yardsticks.

Each submission will be scored in each of these three elements on a chart from one to four stars, with four stars for world leading quality research. You can find out more about the star system and scoring here.