UCL News


UCL welcomes REF review recommendations

28 July 2016

UCL welcomes the recommendations made by Lord Stern's Independent Review of the Research Excellence Framework (REF), published today.

The UCL dome  

The review reiterates the value of previous research assessment exercises and REF2014 in driving competition, and fostering and rewarding research excellence. However, it proposes some significant alterations to the REF2014 process in order to reduce the burden and cost of the next REF. 

UCL believes that implementation of the review's recommendations - in particular, that all research-active staff should be submitted to the REF - would helpfully reduce 'game-playing' by universities and make the process more fair and less stressful for researchers. 

UCL also welcomes the proposed opportunity to submit a number of institution-level impact case studies - showcasing a university's cross-disciplinary and collaborative activity - as part of new institution-level assessment. 

The review advocates using a broad definition of research impact - and a more nuanced understanding of the connections between a body of research and its impact - both of which UCL supports. 

The Office of UCL Vice-Provost (Research) will continue to engage positively with the government, HEFCE and the new UK Research & Innovation in order to produce the most positive outcomes for universities and the UK as the review's recommendations are considered and implemented.