With the publication of the full guidance for the Research Excellence Framework (REF) earlier this year, we are moving into the next stage of our preparations for our REF 2021 submission.

A successful REF submission is important for all of us. Its outcomes will inform allocation of research funding by the UK funding bodies. REF information is also significant for our institutional reputation and is used in a variety of ways, including rankings and league tables.

Outcomes of the REF will have an impact on our reputation beyond research. A strong REF performance will contribute to our ability to recruit undergraduate and postgraduate students and support our ambitions to grow strategic partnerships.

Our REF preparations are building momentum and we are currently reviewing the submissions to our third REF Readiness exercise. The quality of these is testament to the hard work of a large number of colleagues across academic departments and professional services.

Code of Practice

A key document for our REF preparations is our institutional Code of Practice, a final version of which we will submit to Research England on 7 June 2019. Our Code of Practice will document our REF processes and allow staff to find information on how, when and by whom decisions relating to REF are being taken and how those decisions can be discussed.

Once our Code of Practice has been approved by the REF Equality and Diversity Advisory Panel (EDAP) we will publish it on the University web site. Following submission, the REF EDAP will advise on adherence to the guidance.

We welcome views from colleagues across the University on the draft code before it is finalised:

The code is currently in draft form and so far has been reviewed by University Research Committee, University Executive Board, representatives of UCU and Senate. Some points raised by these groups are still under consideration and are not reflected in this draft.

Send your comments on the Code to Katy McKen, Head of Research Information and Impact by 5pm Friday 3 May.

Briefing events

We are holding two briefing events when you can ask myself (Professor Jonathan Knight, Pro-Vice-Chancellor, Research) and Katy questions about the code or any other aspect of our REF preparations. These will be held on:

  • Wednesday 1 May 14:15 – Council Chamber, Wessex House
  • Thursday 2 May 12:15 - Council Chamber, Wessex House

Further information

Further information on our preparations is available on REF 2021 pages. These pages will be updated on a regular basis, as further information from the funding bodies becomes available and our plans and activities progress.

You can access further information on the REF 2021, guidance and FAQs from the funding bodies’ main REF website.

Professor Jonathan Knight, Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Research)