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Equality and diversity in the REF

The UK funding bodies are committed to supporting and promoting equality and diversity in research careers. The REF team is assisting the funding bodies in a number of ways to take forward this commitment:

  • We have provided an 'Equality briefing for REF panels'
  • 'Panel criteria and working methods' sets out the arrangements for enabling staff whose circumstances have constrained their ability to work productively throughout the assessment period, to be returned with fewer than four outputs without penalty in the assessment. These arrangements will be applied consistently across the exercise.
  • 'Guidance on submissions' sets out requirements for institutions to develop, document and apply a code of practice on the fair and transparent selection of staff for their REF submissions. Institutions have submitted their codes of practice to the REF team.
  • The 'environment' element of submissions will include evidence about how the submitted unit promotes equality and diversity.
  • The selection rates of staff for the REF will be monitored and analysed at sector level.

The REF Equality and Diversity Advisory Panel (EDAP) provides advice to the funding bodies, the REF team and the REF panels on the implementation of these equality measures. EDAP have reviewed institutions' codes of practice on the selection of staff and produced a report of good practice found in the codes.

The Equality Challenge Unit (ECU) provide good practice and training materials to support institutions with the equality aspects of their REF preparations. This includes worked examples of complex individual circumstances. 

The equality measures for the REF were developed in consultation with the REF Equality and Diversity Advisory Group. See background for further information.