What is REF2014? • The Research Excellence Framework (REF) is the new system for assessing the quality of research in UK higher education institutions (HEIs). It will replace the Research Assessment Exercise (RAE) and will be completed in 2014. The REF will be undertaken by the four UK higher education funding bodies. The exercise will be managed by the REF team based at HEFCE and overseen by the REF Steering Group, consisting of representatives of the four funding bodies.
How does the REF affect me? • If you are an academic member of staff who has been actively involved in research then your research may be eligible for inclusion in one of the University’s Unit of Assessment (UoA) submissions. • Each UoA entered by the University will be given a quality ranking by the REF team, which can be used to champion departmental research activities, for marketing and publicity, and to gain funding from HEFCE to support future research activities (HEQR) • The quality ranking given to each UoA is based on several factors: • Staff details (names and number of staff included in the UoA) • Quality of research outputs (publications, exhibitions, performances etc) • Impact of our research and impact case studies • Our research environment data (PhD activity and research grant income) • Our research environment – how we support and develop researchers across the institution
What are the REF quality rankings? • The overall quality profile comprises the aggregate of the weighted sub-profiles produced for: • Outputs (65%) • Impact (20%) • Environment (15%) • 4* = quality that is world-leading in terms of originality, significance and rigour • 3* - quality that is internationally excellent in terms of originality, significance and rigour but which falls short of the highest standards of excellence • 2* = quality that is recognised internationally in terms of originality, significance and rigour • 1* = quality that is recognised nationally in terms of originality, significance and rigour • Unclassified = quality that falls below the standard of nationally recognised work. Or work which does not meet the published definition of research for the purposes of this assessment.
How did the University perform in the last REF? RAE 2008 quality profiles Bath Spa University
Bath Spa University’s approach to REF2014 “I am confident that Bath Spa University's Code of Practice for the selection of staff will frame our decision making processes in relation to REF2014 in the context of the principles of equality and diversity, and all relevant legislation, and that it demonstrates fairness to our staff by addressing the principles of transparency, consistency, accountability and inclusivity” Vice-Chancellor
Code of Practice for the Selection of Staff Frames the University’s decision-making processes in relation to REF2014 in the context of the principles of equality and diversity, and all relevant legislation Sets out: • Criteria for selection • Timetable • Management framework for REF2014 • Equality Impact Assessment process • Individual Staff Circumstances Disclosure policy and process • Appeals policy and process • Terms of reference and membership for all Subject Selection Groups http://www.bathspa.ac.uk/schools/graduate-school/research/ref-2014/code-of-practice/default.asp
What are BSU’s criteria for inclusion? • Unit of Assessments (UoAs) which are deemed likely to be awarded a quality profile in which the majority percentage of research activity is deemed to be of 1* standard, or above. • All academic staff with a contract of 0.2 FTE or above are entitled to offer their research for inclusion in the REF2014 submission. Normally, 4 outputs are required for each member of staff entered. • Exceptions to this include: • Early Career Staff (who started their careers after 1 August 2009) • Part-Time staff • Staff with circumstances which “constrained their ability to produce 4 outputs or to work productively throughout the assessment period” e.g. secondments or career breaks, periods of maternity, paternity or adoption leave or other complex circumstances http://www.bathspa.ac.uk/schools/graduate-school/research/ref-2014/part-time-staff-and-ecrs/default.asp
Individual Staff Circumstances that may have affected your research activities and outputs
How will my circumstances be taken into account? • If you think you may have circumstances that have affected your ability to produce 4 outputs at 1* level or above, your starting point should be the REF2014 website pages relating to Individual Staff Circumstances Disclosure (ISCD) http://www.bathspa.ac.uk/schools/graduate-school/research/ref-2014/iscd-panel/default.asp • If you wish to be considered for a reduction in outputs at any point of the process, you can complete a Liquid office form and this will be considered confidentially and anonymously by the ISCD panel. A decision on whether a reduction in outputs is justified will be made by the panel, and reported back to you.
ISCD process continued… • Only the ISCD panel will see details of your submission. Your Head of School and members of your Subject Selection Group will only be informed of the names of staff where a reduction in outputs is applicable, with the number of outputs the panel judges is appropriate. • If you are included in the final UoA submission, then confidential information evidencing this decision will need to be sent to HEFCE, but will only be seen within the University by ISCD panel members, and as part of the overall submission, by the DVC (Academic), the Director of Academic Services and the VC.
Timetable and Process • May/June 2012 – REF road shows and departmental meetings • July 2012 – requests from Heads of School for all eligible staff to submit outputs they would like to be considered for inclusion. Deadline – 30 September 2012. • ISCD Liquid Office submissions – first deadline 30 September 2012 • Oct/Nov/Dec 2012 – Staff Selection Groups meet and consider staff submissions. • 31 December 2012 – HEFCE survey of submissions intentions. • 31 January 2013 – staff informed of decisions relating to individual staff inclusion, and probable UoA submissions.
Timetable and Process continued…. • February – July 2013: development of UoA submissions, including impact case studies • July 2013 – consideration of draft UoA submissions by RCSC • August – October 2013: revision of UoA submissions • November 2013: final approval of UoA submissions at RCSC • 29 November 2013: submission to HEFCE • The ISCD process will run in parallel with this process • All non-confidential records of meetings will be placed on the web • All confidential records will be retained securely by HR or the Research Support office, and destroyed once the REF2014 results have been announced by HEFCE in December 2014.
What can be classed as Outputs? • Outputs in the public domain between the qualifying period: 1 January 2008 – 31 December 2013 (cut-off for BSU – 29 November 2013) • Publications e.g. journal articles, books, conference papers, policy documents and reports • Exhibitions and exhibition catalogues • Performances and other types of live presentation • Artefacts • Films, videos and other types of media presentation • etc • A 300 word statement may be included in support of an output where the research imperatives and research processes might further be made evident by descriptive and contextualising information. • A portfolio of works may also be submitted to allow sub-panel members to assess the research dimensions of a more ephemeral work, or one of a series of inter-connected works
What is Impact? “An effect on, change or benefit to the economy, society, culture, public policy or services, health, the environment or quality of life, beyond academia”
Submission requirements for Impact • Impact template (20%) – UoA’s approach during the assessment period (1 Jan 2008 – 31 July 2013) to enabling impact from its research • Impact Case Studies (80%) – describing specific impacts that have occurred during the assessment period (1 Jan 2008 – 31 July 2013) underpinned by excellent research undertaken in the submitted unit during the period 1 Jan 1993 – 31 December 2013. Minimum of 2 case studies per UoA.