What is the Research Excellence Framework?
The Research Excellence Framework is a national assessment of the quality of research in UK higher education institutions and determines the allocation of around £2 billion quality-related funding a year, starting in August 2022.
The Research Excellence Framework:
- covers all research disciplines
- gives accountability for public investment in research and produces evidence of the benefits of this investment
- provides reputational benchmarking information for higher education institutions and the public
The four UK higher education funding bodies that undertake the REF are:
The REF requires us to submit complex data and evidence to allow our research to be assessed. This covers three benchmarks:
- Research outputs – based on numbers of research active staff and their outputs (journal articles, performances, edited books etc. (60%)
- Research impact – demonstrating the difference our research has made to culture, economy, health and society (25%)
- Research environment – research ecosystem and infrastructure; strategies and mechanisms that support/enable research and impact (15%)
Privacy Notice for REF2021 Evidence Collection
Personal data provided to the University of Nottingham (UoN) for the purposes of evidencing research impact or environment, as part of the REF2021 assessment, will be held only for the duration of the REF2021 assessment. Once the assessment period is complete (at the end of April 2022) any personal data is anonymised and deleted from UoN systems.
The lawful processing purpose relied on is Public Task.
Information will be shared beyond the university with UK Higher Education funding bodies as per the data collection statement.
Understand how the university processes personal data >
REF2021 Code of Practice
It is a requirement that every institution making a REF submission needs to develop, document and apply a code of practice for REF2021, including:
- the fair and transparent identification of staff with significant responsibility for research where a higher education institute (HEI) is not submitting 100% of eligible staff
- determining who is an independent researcher
- the selection of research outputs, including approaches to supporting staff with circumstances
The University of Nottingham has developed our REF code of practice through a consultative process and submitted it to Research England on 7 June 2019. The university decided to return 100% of eligible Category A staff to REF2021 and therefore identification of staff with significant responsibility for research does not form part of our REF2021 code.
Definition of Category A staff
As per REF guidance on submissions, paragraph 117, Category A eligible staff are defined as academic staff:
- with a contract of employment of 0.2 FTE or greater, on the payroll of the submitting institution on the census date
- whose primary employment function is to undertake either ‘research only’ or ‘teaching and research’
Staff employed on minimum fractional contracts (0.20 to 0.29 FTE) on the census date should have a substantive research connection with the submitting unit in addition to meeting the bullet points 1 and 2 above to be Category A eligible staff.
Staff on ‘research only’ contracts should meet the definition of an independent researcher in addition to bullet points 1 and 2 above to be category A eligible staff.