Over 400 new members, assessors and specialist advisers have been appointed to the REF sub-panels, following a nomination process earlier this year. Details of the assessment-phase panel membership has been published on the REF website.
The new panellists include leading researchers from across a range of universities in the UK and beyond, and experts in the use and benefits of research who will play a key role in assessing the wider impact of research.
The 34 expert sub-panels will carry out the detailed assessment of submissions between May 2021 and February 2022, working under the guidance of four main panels.
An initial set of appointments to the sub-panels was made in 2018 for the criteria-setting phase of REF. Following analysis of universities’ submission intentions early in 2020, the panels identified where further expertise would be needed to ensure each can assess the expected breadth and volume of submitted material. Nominations were sought for further candidates in the specified areas, with the nominations call extended from its original timeframe in light of COVID-19.
Earlier analysis of the criteria-phase appointments showed welcome increases in representativeness across several protected characteristics, with other areas showing that more limited progress had been made. In response to this analysis, additional steps were put in place to further increase representativeness for the next appointment round. An updated analysis will now be conducted, looking at all appointments made across both phases, in the context of the total nominations pool.
Some further appointments are still to be made, filling remaining gaps in expertise. The published list of members will be updated when these appointments are finalised.