Countdown to Reservations End Date
76% of research at UK higher education institutions was considered as ‘world-leading’ or ‘internationally excellent’ for its overall quality in 2014, according to results from the most recent Research Excellent Framework assessment, with universities adding a gross value of £28.9 billion to the economy as a result of research efforts.
However, in the wake of REF 2014, the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy commissioned Lord Stern to conduct a review into the assessment’s perceived deficiencies, such as being too costly, incurring an excessive administrative burden, and discrediting research excellence by placing too much focus on ‘getting published’ as opposed to letting researchers follow their own personal judgements.
The results of this report were published in 2016, including a series of recommendations for change, many of which have been implemented in REF 2021. These include a broadening and deepening of how “impact” is assessed, restricted scope for strategic “game playing”, provisions to encourage the submission of interdisciplinary research, and requirements for all “research active” staff to submit outputs. REF 2021 has also adopted an Open Access policy, which states that to be eligible for submission, authors’ final peer-reviewed manuscripts must be discoverable, and free to read and download for anyone with an internet connection.
Summer 2018 saw the release of the draft panel criteria, working methods and submission guidance for REF 2021, which are timetabled to be finalised and formally published in early 2019, ahead of the formal submission deadline on the 27th November 2020. The results of the REF assessment will be used to inform how £1.6 billion in QR block funding is distributed to Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) by Research England, as well as being used to inform universities’ positions in national league tables.
In order to access public research funding and maintain or enhance their academic reputations, it is imperative that HEIs understand how REF 2021 will assess impact, outputs and environment, and how these assessments will be used to distribute selective QR block funding across the HE sector.
This one day forum will provide delegates with the opportunity to discuss the latest REF 2021 developments with experts and sector leaders from key government agencies. Attendees will learn about implications of the new REF panel criteria for research planning, management, delivery and funding. Moreover, best practise case studies focusing on research outputs, impact, and environment will be instructive for delegates interested in adapting and optimising institutional research practises in preparation for the REF submission deadline in November 2020.
Key speakers include:
• Dan Hodges, Head of Economics, Analysis, and Market Insight, Innovate UK
• Professor Veronica Strang, Member, Interdisciplinary Research Advisory Panel (IDAP)
• Professor Max Lu, Vice-Chancellor, University of Surrey, and Chair, UK Forum for Responsible Research Metrics.
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