UCL News


Research Excellence Framework 2014

21 September 2011

The Higher Education Funding Council for England, on behalf of the other higher education funding bodies, published the Assessment framework and guidance on submissions document on 14 July 2011.

Research Excellence Framework 2014 The guidance is the rulebook for all UK HEIs in making submissions to the Research Excellence Framework (REF) 2014. Submissions are to be made by the deadline in late November 2013; the assessment phase takes place during 2014.

REF 2014 is the latest in a line of assessment activities to assess the quality of UK research and to inform the selective distribution of public funds for research (known as 'QR') by the funding bodies. It replaces the previous activity, the Research Assessment Exercise (RAE) which was last run in 2008. REF 2014 will require UCL to provide information on selected academic staff and the research they carry out in three distinct sections:

  • research outputs
  • research environment
  • impact of research.

Submissions will be made under discipline specific units known as units of assessment and should cover all research activity in the period 2008 to 2013. UCL will be making submissions to something in the region of 30 REF 2014 units of assessment. Quality profiles will be generated for the research submitted to these units; these are calculated by peer assessment panels according to what proportion of the work submitted for assessment is judged to reach various levels of excellence. The panels have various criteria of assessment which often varies from discipline to discipline and is described in supplementary panel criteria and working methods statements. A consultation on these was launched at the end of July 2011 and runs until 5 October 2011.

The outcomes of REF 2014 will be crucially important to UCL in providing funding to maintain its internationally excellent research activity.

For further information visit the HEFCE REF site and the UCL REF site where summaries of the various guidance documents are available along with information on coordination of preparations and planning and UCL's internal timetable.

Andrew Cooper, REF Manager, Registry and Academic Services