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Frequently Asked Questions

What is the REF?

The Research Excellence Framework (REF) is the new peer review assessment of the quality of research taking place at eligible UK Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) that will be used to distribute HEFCE quality-related research (QR) funding from 2015-16.


When is REF2014 taking place?

The assessment period for REF2014 is 01 January 2008 to 31 December 2013.  The University will make its REF2014 submission to HEFCE by 29 November 2013, the REF panel assessment will take place in 2014 and the results will be published in December 2014.


Who is eligible for submission to the REF?

The census date for staff is 31 October 2013.  On this date, two classifications of staff associated with the College are eligible for submission in REF2014: Category A (academics) and Category C (honoraries).

Category A staff

Category A staff are defined as academic staff with a contract of employment of 0.2 FTE or greater and on the payroll of the submitting HEI on the census date (31 October 2013), and whose primary employment function is to undertake either ‘research only’ or ‘teaching and research’.

Category C staff

Category C staff are defined as individuals employed by an organisation other than an HEI, whose contract or job role (as documented by their employer) includes the undertaking of research, and whose research is primarily focused in the submitting unit on the census date (31 October 2013).


What is included in the submissions to REF2014?

Each submission to a single UoA will consist of five forms covering staff data, research outputs, impact, environment data and an environment narrative.


How will we obtain research income data and how will this be allocated to Units of Assessment in the REF?

The research income data is data that is submitted annually by the University to HESA (Higher Education Statistics Agency). HEFCE will send this data back to us in order to verify it and allocate it to UOAs.


Where research degree students were supervised by one HEI (without research degree awarding powers) and the degrees were accredited/awarded by another HEI, which of the HEIs should include the degrees awarded in their REF submission?

Research degrees awarded are returned to HESA by the HEI that registered the students. This HEI should include the research degrees awarded in their REF submission.