The main purpose of Research Excellence Framework (REF) is to assess the quality of UK research and inform the selective allocation of core research funding grants to universities by the four UK higher education funding bodies: the Department for Economy, Northern Ireland (DfE), the Higher Education Funding Council for Wales (HEFCW), Research England and the Scottish Funding Council (SFC). The exercise is centred on the work of expert panels who assess research outputs, research environment and research impact.
REF2021 comprises three main elements:
UWS has adopted an approach to REF 2021 preparations that aim to achieve outstanding position in regard to research quality and impact. UWS has begun with REF preparations immediately after the announcement of REF 2014 results with Schools identifying the preliminary set of impact cases.
All institutional arrangements are coordinated through the REF 2021 Strategy Group Chaired by Professor Milan Radosavljevic, Associate Vice-Principal Research & Enterprise and established in Summer 2017, guided by the REF 2021 Strategic Plan, which has been approved by the University’s Research & Enterprise Advisory Committee. From June 2018, the strategy group comprises 4 sub-groups, drawing from its membership, academic staff and support departments:
The University is committed to support research excellence through a number of ongoing programmes and initiatives, including:
Guidance and user education to support the University's policy of supporting Green Open Access. https://www.uws.ac.uk/library/research-support/open-access/
Development programme for UWS research leaders of the future.
The programme aims to develop strategic knowledge exchange partnerships, predominantly as Gold or Silver level partnerships.
A series of Masterclasses with a mix of internal and external speakers to address key requirements for outputs, (space) impact and environment.
The first event took place in 2017 with more than 50 industry participants. We aim to organise “I love KTP” event every 6 months to help significantly increase the number of KTP projects.
REF Accelerator: To accelerate REF-ability of staff, Research Leaders and UWS Crucible groups will each mentor a group of staff who require support.
Annual PGR Students best paper competition: Scheme that will select the most successful PGR students in terms of the quality of the output published during the academic year. The main prize will include payment of gold open access publication fees.
You may be aware that the production of an agreed Code of Practice is a condition of participation in REF. The main difference this time is that this is the first time HEIs have had to address the outcomes of Lord Stern’s Review of REF2014. The main issue from Stern is that all staff with a contract of employment of 0.2FTE or greater on the census date (31st July 2020), that is for teaching and research or research only, are considered ‘eligible’ for the purposes of REF. Where an institution does not want to submit 100% of its ‘eligible’ staff it must document in a Code of Practice its fair and transparent approach to determining ‘staff in scope for submission’. To be in scope for submission staff must have ‘significant responsibility for research’ and be ‘independent researchers’. The draft Code should be read in this context. Prior to consideration by Senate the draft Code has been scrutinised by the REF Strategy Group and its Code of Practice Sub-Group that contains representatives of the academic staff trade unions. At these meetings a number of points have been made:
Comments on the draft Code of Practice have been requested from School Research Forums and/or School Boards by 24th May 2019 so please speak to your appropriate staff representatives. If you need any clarification about the draft Code of Practice please contact the Senior Manager Global Research Excellence & Partnerships at: firstname.lastname@example.org