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The information on this page was published whilst the exercise was being conducted; this material is provided for background information only and will not be updated.

Latest FAQs (October 2013)

Can we include URL's in REF3a, REF3b and REF5?

You may include URLs in these parts of the submission, only for the purpose of verifying or corroborating claims made in the submission. Panels will not follow URLs to access additional evidence or information to supplement the submission.  


Previous FAQs

Can we complete the templates REF3a, 3b and REF5 without a border?

Yes. From September 2013 templates were made available with and without borders. This follows institutional feedback that the templates with borders were difficult to use when inserting tables and diagrams. The REF team have revised guidance to allow the template to be completed without borders, if preferred. The section headings provided within the 'no borders' templates should not be changed. Changes should not be made to the margins, headers or footers provided in the templates.

(The templates are available within the REF Submission system and on the ).

What is information on research groups used for in the REF submission?
Institutions may use research groups for internal purposes in developing their submissions. In addition, the sub-panels within Main Panels A and B encourage institutions to structure their submissions by research groups. This is intended to assist the panels in their work, especially for larger or more diverse submissions. Quality profiles will not be provided at research group level; they will be provided for the submission as a whole. However, the sub-panel's qualitative feedback to the HEI may highlight individual research groups of particular note. 
Is it possible to list the same individual twice within a joint submission, if that person has an eligible contract with two of the HEIs making the joint submission?

Yes, all HEIs involved in a joint submission are eligible to return the same individual within their part of the joint submission, provided the individual fulfils the eligibility criteria with each HEI.

Each HEI returning this individual in their part of the submission should return them with the same research outputs. The information will be collated and presented to the sub-panel as a single submission. Each distinct output listed against the individual will be assessed only once and count once towards the outputs sub-profile.

Can more than one individual from an institution access the REF extranet?
The extranet login information that has been provided to the institution’s main REF contact can be used to create logins for multiple staff. It is up to the institution to decide who should have access to the REF extranet and to manage who submits the relevant documents through the extranet. Institutions’ HESA data has been provided by the REF team through the REF extranet and will include sufficient data to identify individual research students. This should be considered when disseminating extranet login information.
If a higher education institution is given approval to make multiple submissions in a UOA is there an obligation to make multiple submissions?
No, requests to make multiple submissions are not binding. An institution may decide to make only one submission in a UOA where they have been given approval for multiple submissions.
Can a joint submission be made by higher education institutions (HEIs) from different countries within the UK?
Yes. In such cases the funding will be allocated to each HEI according to the funding method of their respective funding body, using the number of Category A staff (FTE) submitted by each institution as the volume measure.
Can requests for multiple submissions be made earlier than the published timetable (October to December 2012)?

Yes. Following feedback from the sector, HEI's will be invited in early 2012 to make their requests for multiple submissions at any time from March 2012 until December 2012. We will consider all requests received at regular cut-off points during this period, and will provide a response within six weeks of each of those cut-off points. Each HEI may only make one set of requests for multiple submissions during this period.

An ‘Invitation to make requests for multiple submissions and for impact case studies requiring security clearance’ was published in February 2012.