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Will HEIs be able to decide into which UOA staff are submitted?

Yes. Responsibility for mapping staff into UOAs will remain with institutions.

Is staff FTE calculated at submitting unit or institutional level?

The number of outputs for each submission will be calculated by multiplying the total FTE of ‘Category A submitted’ staff in the submitting unit by 2.5. The FTE of staff across all submitting units in the institution should total the FTE of staff at institution level (except where an exclusion from submission has been given for a very small unit).

Can staff employed after the census date be submitted?

Staff employed after the census date will not be eligible for submission.

Are institutions required to submit staff who have left the institution?

No. The outputs of former staff optionally may be included in submissions, where the staff member was previously employed as Category A eligible when the output was demonstrably generated.

Can outputs published while at a non-UK institution, or as an independent scholar, be submitted to REF 2021?

Yes, where they are within the publication period and meet any other applicable eligibility criteria, these outputs may be included in submissions by the institution employing the staff member on the census date.

Will institutions be able to include outputs of staff that have been made redundant?

We note concerns that, in view of the institution’s future intentions, the inclusion of outputs from staff made redundant may not represent a rounded view of the work carried out in the submitting unit. We will consult the main panels and the Equality and Diversity Advisory Panel on this issue, when considering the full set of eligibility criteria for output submission.

Can research outputs sole-authored by Category C members of staff be submitted for assessment?

No. To be eligible for return, outputs must be authored by ‘Category A submitted’ staff or staff previously employed as ‘Category A eligible’ when the output was first made publicly available. Outputs co-authored by Category C staff may be submitted within the min. 1 and max. 5 limits of the Category A staff co-author.

What measures will be put in place to prevent institutions from hiring ‘research superstars’ on fixed-term 0.2FTE contracts?

Institutions will have to provide a written statement for all submitted staff on the minimum 0.2 FTE contract that describes the connection of the staff member to the submitting institution. This may include, for example, postgraduate research (PGR) student supervision responsibilities. This will also apply to former staff on 0.2FTE contracts whose outputs are submitted by their former institution.

How will the funding bodies define ‘significant responsibility for research’?

Staff with significant responsibility for research are those for whom explicit time and resources are made available to engage actively in independent research, and that is an expectation of their job role. The guidance on submissions and panel criteria will provide a menu of suggested indicators of significant responsibility for research that institutions might use when developing their processes. This guidance will not prescribe a fixed set of criteria that all staff would be required to meet.

Will staff on ‘teaching and research’ contracts be required to demonstrate research independence?

No. Evidence of research independence will only be required for staff on ‘research only’ contracts.

Will institutions be required to submit staff on ‘teaching and research’ contracts who are required to undertake research as part of their role (e.g. through a doctoral research degree) but do not undertake research independently?

Where the institutional process for determining ‘significant responsibility for research’ includes an evaluation of research independence, this may be included in the Code of Practice. Further guidelines on the appropriate indicators of ‘significant responsibility for research’ will be provided in the guidance on submissions and panel criteria.

Does the REF assessment process distinguish between research outputs on the basis of mode of publication, place or publication or publisher?

No. The REF is governed by a principle of equity and is committed to the fair and equal assessment of all types of research and forms of research output.

What is the definition of ‘interdisciplinary research’ for REF purposes?

The Interdisciplinary Research Advisory Panel will work with the expert panels in 2018 to develop a definition of ‘interdisciplinary research’ for the purposes of the REF that reflects the diversity of the research undertaken in this area.

What expertise should interdisciplinary advisers hold?

Interdisciplinary advisers could come from a variety of research backgrounds: for example they may have experience of publishing IDR, managing complex IDR projects, leading IDR initiatives or research in the area of IDR practice. See our blog on interdisciplinary research for further details.

What role will the interdisciplinary advisers play on the panels?

Interdisciplinary advisers will:

    • contribute to the development of panel criteria and working methods;
    • provide oversight of the assessment of IDR elements within each submission;
    • assess submissions; and
    • engage with the broader network of advisers.

See our blog on interdisciplinary research for further details.

What do nominating bodies need to do around equality and diversity?

All organisations wishing to submit nominations for REF panel membership will need to state how equality and diversity issues were taken into account in putting forward nominations. We have provided some guidance for nominating bodies and a template to help them submit information about equality and diversity when making their nominations. See our blog on equality and diversity in the panel nominations process for further details.

Will institutions still be able to request that monographs are double-weighted?

Yes. We do not envisage making any substantive changes to the policy of double-weighting outputs.

Will approaches to double-weighting monographs be determined at main panel level?

Yes. As was the case in REF 2014, each main panel will provide guidance on how outputs of extended scale and scope are characterised in their disciplines, and on the process for requesting an output to be double-weighted.

Are the qualifying dates for doctoral completions the same as the dates for income?

Yes. Data about research income and research doctoral degrees awarded must fall within the assessment period: 1 August 2013 to 31 July 2020.