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Invitation to complete the Research Excellence Framework (REF) survey of submission intentions

July 2012

Title:  Invitation to complete the Research Excellence Framework (REF) survey of submission intentions
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:  31 July 2012
Enquiries to:  Anna Dickinson
tel 0117 931 7477
e-mail info@ref.ac.uk


Dear Vice-Chancellor or Principal

Invitation to complete the Research Excellence Framework (REF) survey of submission intentions

1. This letter invites higher education institutions (HEIs) to complete the REF survey of submission intentions and provides guidance on what information they will be expected to supply. The survey will open at 10am on 5 October and close at midday on 5 December 2012.  

2. All HEIs should complete this survey, to indicate whether they intend to submit to the 2014 REF and if so, to provide details about their intended submissions. The survey will gather data on the anticipated volume and content of submissions. The information provided will not be binding, but HEIs are encouraged to be as accurate as possible.

3. The aim of the survey is to enable the REF team and the REF panels to plan and prepare for the assessment phase of the exercise. The panels will use the information to identify the expertise required to assess the anticipated range and volume of material to be submitted. We expect to appoint additional assessors to all sub-panels, based on gaps in current expertise and potential workload issues for existing members. By providing accurate survey information institutions can help ensure their submissions are assessed by panellists with appropriate expertise. 

4. We will also use the information to help identify where specialist advisers will be required to assess outputs in languages other than English, and to inform planning for the exercise, such as the logistics involved in cross-referring material between sub-panels.

5. The information required in the survey is set out in Annex A.

6. All HEIs intending to submit to the REF must complete the survey using the online form, by 5 December 2012. HEIs will be able to produce summary reports of the survey for their records. Information on how to access the online survey will be sent to your institution’s designated REF contact in early September.

REF submission system pilot

7. The REF submission system will be open as a pilot to all HEIs from mid-September to late November 2012; the final system will be open from January 2013 until the submissions deadline of 29 November 2013. When we send login details for the survey of submission intentions to your institution’s designated REF contact in early September, we will also send them login details for the REF submission system pilot.

8. I would like to encourage institutions to access the pilot system, enter test data and report any bugs to the REF team, to help us address any potential issues. Any data entered on the pilot system will be carried over to the final system.

Yours sincerely,

Graeme Rosenberg

REF manager

Annex A: Information required in the Survey of submission Intentions

Download the Invitation SIS (annex A) as PDF (109 KB)Download the Invitation SIS (annex A) as MS Word (59 KB)

Annex B: List of research specialisms for sub-panel 11: Computer Sciences and Informatics

Download the sp11 List of research specialisms as PDF (889 KB)Download the sp11 List of research specialisms as MS Word (1,604 KB)

Annex C: List of research specialisms for sub-panel 22: Social Work and Social Policy

Download the sp22 List of research specialisms as PDF (43 KB)Download the sp22 List of research specialisms as MS Word (47 KB)