REF 2021 Code of Practice

The Research Excellence Framework (REF) is the system for assessing research in UK Higher Education Institutions (HEIs). The University will make its submission to the next REF (REF 2021) in November 2020. The assessment phase will take place in 2021 with the outcomes of the REF published in December 2021.

HEIs are 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 is 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; and
  • The selection of outputs, including procedures for taking into account individual staff circumstances

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