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Research Excellence Framework (REF)

Information on the Research Excellence Framework (REF) for assessing our research.

Research Excellence Framework 2021
Research Excellence Framework 2021


The Research Excellence Framework (REF) is the system from Research England for assessing research in UK higher education institutions (HEIs) and is carried out every six or seven years. The first REF took place in 2014, replacing the Research Assessment Exercise (RAE), and the second in 2021, with results due in May 2022. UKRI are undertaking the Future of Research Assessment Programme to explore possible approaches to the next national assessment exercise.

REF 2021

The University of Bath REF preparations were led by our Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Research), and co-ordinated by our Head of Research Policy and Information.

The University uses Pure to manage information about our research and to make our REF submissions; you should ensure all your publications are in Pure and meet the Research England Open Access policy. Our REF-ready guide will help you ensure that your work is eligible for REF submission. You should also log details of the impact of your research in Pure.

University procedures and principles

Principles of research assessment and management

The University has developed a set of principles outlining its approach to research assessment and management, including the responsible use of quantitative indicators. The University’s preparations for REF 2021 were made in accordance with these principles.

REF 2021 Code of Practice

The University has developed a Code of Practice outlining our decision making processes in relation to REF 2021.

An Equality Impact Assessment for the REF 2021 was completed and has shown that there was no evidence of any equality related issues the REF selection processes.

REF 2014

In 2014 32% of our submitted research activity achieved the highest possible REF classification of 4, defined as world-leading in terms of originality, significance and rigour. 87% was graded 4/3*, defined as world-leading/internationally excellent. Our overall grade point average (GPA) is 3.17. Based on these results, we are placed 12th in the research quality ranking of UK universities, excluding specialist institutions.

Further information on:

Meet the people behind our research.

REF 2014 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 was completed and has shown that there was no evidence of any equality related issues the REF selection processes.


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