research excellence framework 2021

Research and teaching is what makes us a university

Through our research we are tackling societal problems and transforming the lives of individuals and organisations in the region and beyond.

Improving our activity in Research and Academic Enterprise is a key theme of our current strategy.

REF 2021 Professor Andrew Slade and Professor Cathy Barnes discuss the importance of REF and the Code of Practice

  1. What is REF 2021?

    REF 2021 is the Research Excellence Framework, administered by Research England. It is the current system for assessing the quality of research in UK higher education institutions and happens every 7 years. It is scheduled for 2021 but in reality, much of the preparation will happen ahead of 2020, when we have to provide our evidence.

  2. REF2021 – Response to the Coronavirus pandemic

    The Research Excellence Framework (REF2021), recommenced on 31 July 2020 following a four-month pause due to the impact of COVID-19. The recommencement is accompanied by new guidance, describing revisions to the exercise made in view of the altered timetable and to mitigate the effects of COVID-19 on universities’ submissions.  The funding bodies’ decisions on the REF timetable and revisions were informed by advice from the expert panels and engagement with the higher education sector and partners between April and July 2020. 

    It has been confirmed that the revised submission deadline has now been set for midday, 31 March 2021.

  3. Why does it matter?

    Our results from the REF will determine the university’s funding from QR, impact upon our league tables and impact the reputation we have as a university. It is very important to us to perform well across the three elements that are assessed: the quality of our outputs (e.g. publications, performances, and exhibitions), our impact beyond academia, and the environment that supports our research.

  4. What is the code of practice?

    Every university that intends to submit to REF 2021 is required to develop, document and apply a code of practice on the fair and transparent identification of staff with significant responsibility for research; determining who is an independent researcher; and the selection of outputs.

    During 2018/19, following wide consultation, our University’s REF 2021 Code of Practice was developed. It was approved by our University’s Academic Board in June 2019 and was then submitted to Research England for final ratification. Confirmation was received from Research England in early November 2019 that our REF 2021 Code of Practice had been approved.

    Access our REF 2021 Code of Practice (staff only).

REF and Research Policy Manager

Research Impact Officer