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Invitation to make requests for multiple submissions and for impact case studies requiring security clearance

February 2012

Title:  Invitation to make requests for multiple submissions and for impact case studies requiring security clearance
To:  Heads of HEFCE-funded higher education institutions 
Heads of HEFCW-funded higher education institutions
Heads of SFC-funded institutions
Heads of universities in Northern Ireland
Cc:  REF institutional contacts
Of interest to those responsible for:  Research Excellence Framework
Publication date:  27 February 2012
Enquiries to:  Anna Dickinson
tel 0117 931 7477
e-mail info@ref.ac.uk

Dear Vice-Chancellor or Principal

Invitation to make requests for multiple submissions and for impact case studies requiring security clearance

1.   I am writing to all higher education institutions (HEIs) planning to make a submission to the 2014 Research Excellence Framework (REF 2014) who may intend to:

  • make multiple submissions within a unit of assessment
  • submit impact case studies requiring security clearance.

2.   Institutions intending to include either of these within their submissions must request permission to do so, from 1 March 2012, and no later than midday on 7 December 2012.

3.   The REF team will consider these requests at 3 set cut-off points. The REF team will respond to these requests within 6 weeks of each date, as set out below:

Cut-off pointFeedback by
27 April 2012 8 June 2012
28 September 2012 9 November 2012
7 December 2012 18 January 2013*

*Please note the following amendment was made on 2 March 2012:
Table corrected in paragraph 3

Requests for multiple submissions

4.   As set out in REF 02.2011 'Assessment framework and guidance on submissions' ('guidance on submissions') each HEI will normally make one submission in each unit of assessment (UOA). They may exceptionally, and only with prior permission from the REF manager, make more than one submission (multiple submissions) in the same UOA. These exceptions are set out in Part 2, paragraphs 50 - 52 of 'guidance on submissions' and further panel specific guidance in Part 2 of REF01.2012 'Panel criteria and working methods'. (For sub-panels within Main Panel A see Part 2A paragraphs 21 – 22; Main Panel B see Part 2B paragraphs 27 – 29; Main Panel C see Part 2C paragraphs 35 – 37; and Main Panel D see Part 2D paragraphs 43 – 46.)

5.   HEIs are invited to submit requests for multiple submissions from 1 March 2012, and by 7 December 2012 at the latest, via the REF extranet. Institutions should complete a single, separate request for each UOA in which they would like to make multiple submissions. However, for multiple submission requests that cite the exception set out in paragraph 50c of 'guidance on submissions', one request for multiple submissions in all UOAs may be made.

6.   Each HEI may make only one set of requests for multiple submissions; that is, all requests for multiple submissions by an institution must be made by the same cut-off point.

7.   The REF manager, in consultation with the relevant main and sub-panel chairs, will consider requests for multiple submissions according to the published criteria. Where necessary, the REF team may request further information from the HEI.

8.   We will e-mail outcomes of requests for multiple submissions to the designated REF institutional contact. Where we approve requests for multiple submissions, we will update the REF submission system so that the institution can enter all the agreed submissions.

9.   The institution will not be bound to making multiple submissions that have been approved, and may choose to make a single submission.

10.   Where an institution does not submit a request for multiple submissions by 7 December 2012, or where a submitted request is not approved, only one submission will be permitted in a UOA.

Request to submit impact case studies requiring security clearance

11.   As set out in the 'panel criteria', Part 1, paragraph 59, there may be specific instances where research has had impacts of a sensitive nature and the material to be included in an impact case study can only be made available to individuals with national security vetting clearance. HEIs must request advance permission to submit such case studies.

12.   HEIs are invited to submit these requests from 1 March 2012 and no later than 7 December 2012, via the REF extranet system. A separate request should be made for each impact case study requiring security clearance.

13.   The REF manager, in consultation with the relevant main and sub-panel chairs, will consider requests to submit impact case studies requiring security clearance according to the published criteria. The REF manager will consider all requests received by each of the three cut-off points (see paragraph 3 above), and will contact the designated REF institutional contact within six weeks of the cut-off point to notify them of progress in dealing with the request. In order for the necessary arrangements to be made, the REF team may need further time before responding.

14.   Where permission is granted, arrangements will be made for the HEI to make the case study available securely to the appropriate panel members and/or assessors.

15.   HEIs should allow sufficient time for such case studies to go through the relevant organisation’s internal release processes.

Method of submission

16.   All requests for multiple submissions and impact case studies requiring security clearance must be submitted via the REF extranet. A template for each type of request is available for download from the REF extranet.

17.   Further details on accessing the REF extranet, including login information, will be sent to each institution's REF contact at the end of February 2012. Note that the same login information will be needed during 2012 to submit other information through the REF extranet, including the institution’s code of practice on the selection of staff.

Yours sincerely, 
Graeme Rosenberg
REF Manager