REF 2021 Code of Practice

To ensure the preparation of our REF 2021 submission was fair, transparent, and consistent with the University’s policies on equality, diversity and inclusion, we established a Code of Practice

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The University made its submission to REF 2021 in March of that year, with the outcomes of the REF published in May 2022.

Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) were required to submit all staff with significant responsibility for research to REF 2021 (in contrast to REF 2014, when individual staff were selected for inclusion). Each institution making a submission to the REF was required to develop, document and apply a Code of Practice on:

  • the fair and transparent identification of staff with significant responsibility for research (where an HEI is not submitting 100% of Category A eligible staff)
  • determining which staff meet the REF definition of an independent researcher
  • the selection of outputs, including procedures for taking into account individual staff circumstances

In developing their Code of Practice, HEIs needed to ensure that their REF procedures did not discriminate unlawfully against, or otherwise have the effect of harassing or victimizing individuals, because of age, disability, gender identity, marriage and civil partnership, race, religion or belief, sex or sexual orientation or because they were pregnant or had recently given birth.

An initial Equality Impact Assessment (EIA) was conducted during the development of the Code of Practice (Appendix 10). EIAs on the policies and procedures outlined in the Code for determining research independence and selecting outputs were conducted during the preparation of the REF submission (an EIA on the identification of staff with significant responsibility for research was not required because the University submitted 100% of eligible staff). The EIAs are detailed in the University of Dundee’s Final REF 2021 Equality Impact Assessment.