HEFCE has announced their decisions in relation to staff and outputs for REF 2021

Following the initial decisions circulated in September, HEFCE has announced their decisions in relation to staff and outputs for REF 2021.  Previous decisions and further information can be found here

The decisions cover the following aspects of REF 2021:

• Submitting Staff
All staff with a significant responsibility for research will be returned to the REF, provided they are independent researchers. The core eligibility criteria is “academic staff on a 0.2FTE contract or greater, whose primary function is to undertake ‘research only’ or ‘teaching and research’”. Institutions will be required to implement processes to identify where staff meeting the core eligibility criteria do not have a significant responsibility for research. Further guidance relating to the definition of independent researchers will be issued in due course.
Staff are not expected to have an Open Researcher and Contributor ID (ORCID) for REF 2021 but very likely will be required to in future exercises. It is strongly encouraged therefore that submitted staff have an ORCID for this exercise in preparation.

• Small Submissions
Institutions with UoAs made up of fewer that 5FTE can request the exclusion of such units in exceptional circumstances.

• Submitting Outputs
The average number of outputs per FTE will be 2.5, with a minimum of one and a maximum of five per staff member.
A transitional approach to the non-portability of outputs will be implemented for REF 2021, whereby both the institution employing the staff member at the census date, and the institution where the research was generated can return the same output.
The REF Open Access Policy will be implemented as previously set out. The policy will require outputs to be deposited as soon after the point of acceptance as possible, and no later than three months after the date of acceptance.
An exception to the rule will be implemented where outputs remain compliant if they are deposited within three months of the date of publication.

• Number of impact case studies required
UoA Submissions will include a total of one case study, plus one further case study per up to 15 FTE for the first 105 FTE, and one further case study per 50 FTE thereafter. Submissions will therefore include a minimum of two case studies.

• UoA structure and multiple submissions
The assessment arrangements for criminological research in place in the previous exercise will continue for REF 2021. With recognition of the cross-disciplinary nature of criminological research, oversight is maintained by Panel C but submissions are welcome to three subpanels (Law, Social Work and Social Policy, Sociology).
Institutions should identify forensic science outputs during the process of submission, and for REF 2021 should continue to submit to the most appropriate UoA for its assessment.
Multiple submissions (defined as more than one submission by a single HEI/UoA) will only be allowed in exceptional circumstances and with prior permission from the REF Manager.

Further guidance on submissions and panel criteria/working methods will be issued in summer 2018.

Nick Williamson and Emma Pole will be attending the Town Hall meeting in January 2018. Following this they intend to hold an open forum internally to discuss these decisions in further detail in the context of our own submission.

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