As I am sure you will have seen, Research England has taken the decision to delay the submission deadline for Research Excellence Framework 2021.

Currently the only detail they have been specific about is that the census date of 31 July will remain unchanged. They will consult with the sector, once the likely duration of the current situation is clearer, on a revised submission deadline and changes to other dates (such as the final date for outputs and the cut-off for generating impact) as required. They have issued a statement and FAQs relating to the delay.

I’d like to take this opportunity to thank all colleagues for the tremendous amount of work that has already been put into preparing our REF submission. We hope that the delay announced by Research England will reduce some of the pressure that the REF undoubtedly causes. But we would assure you that the work of the central team continues to ensure the best possible outcome for the University from REF 2021.

The central REF team will continue to work on the REF submission from home, and will offer meetings via Teams. We will continue to monitor the dedicated e-mail addresses,, and respond to any enquiries.

Given all the work that already been put into preparing submissions, our REF Dress Rehearsal will continue as planned with all Internal Assessment Panel meetings being held in Teams.

Pure and Open Access

Pure is a web-based application that can be accessed on any device that has a wi-fi connection, and the full range of functionality is available. For any queries about Pure please contact as normal.

This includes uploading full text files to make outputs open access. The Research Services team in the Library will continue to monitor the email address and respond to any queries.

REF Survey

The staff REF2021 survey allows us to determine Research independence for those in Research only contracts. It also provides a way to voluntarily declare new or changed personal circumstances. Access the survey here:

Any queries should be sent to

Katy McKen, Head of Research Information and Impact