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History of Research Assessment

History of Research Assessment

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History of Research Assessment

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  1. Research Excellence Framework 2014: A briefing for StaffProfessor Ros FoskettDeputy Vice Chancellor

  2. History of Research Assessment • Undertaken periodically on behalf of the Funding Councils • Determines the QR (Quality-rated) funding for each HEI • Previous exercises in 1986, 1989, 1992, 1996, 2001, 2008 • Set up under Thatcher during tight budgetary restrictions. • Originally called the Research Selectivity Exercise, the Research Assessment Exercise (RAE) and now the Research Excellence Framework (REF) • Submission for REF 2014 will cover the period January 1st 2008 – December 31st 2013.

  3. What is it? • Process of expert review by academic peers of an institution’s research • Assessment by four Main Panels covering the spread of academic disciplines. • Panel A: Medicine, Health and Biological Sciences • Panel B: Physical Sciences, Mathematics, Computing, Engineering • Panel C: Social Sciences • Panel D: Arts and Humanities

  4. How is the REF used? • By Government • To inform research funding allocations by the four UK HE funding bodies (approximately £2 billion per year) • Provide accountability for public funding of research and demonstrate its benefits • By Universities • To demonstrate that funding and reputation are contestable • To help frame their strategic direction • External environment • To provide benchmarks and reputational yardsticks • To provide comprehensible ratings of research excellence in all disciplines in HEIs across the UK

  5. Key changes since the 2008 RAE • Inclusion of assessment of impact • Fewer Units of Assessment (UoAs)/panels, operating more consistently • Strengthened equality and diversity measures • Revised eligibility criteria for staff • Addition of (limited) use of citation data in some UoAs • Removal of ‘esteem’ as a distinct element • Revised approach to ‘environment’ and data collection • Increased ‘user’ input; and an integrated role for additional assessors • Publication of overall quality profiles in 1% steps

  6. Timetable

  7. The assessment framework 65% 15% 20%

  8. Assessment Criteria for assessing: • quality of outputs originality,significanceandrigour • impacts reach and significance • Environment vitality and sustainability

  9. Assessment

  10. Objectives for UW REF2014 • To demonstrate an increase in research activity in terms of breadth and depth for reputational enhancement • To maximise the submission as far as possible in terms of QR funding received (which will only be for 3* and 4* research in REF) • To submit a greater number of members staff and a higher proportion of the academic staff than in RAE 2008 • To make a submission to an increased number of Units of Assessment than in RAE 2008

  11. UW REF2014 We will aim to: • Be as inclusive as possible yet aspire to maximise reputation and income • Maximise the fundable research 3* and 4* outputs and impact case studies • Include 1* and 2* research for reputational reasons • Exclude anything which might attract an Unclassified score

  12. RAE 2008 Results

  13. Units of Assessment for REF2014

  14. UW Preparation • Submission being led by Deputy Vice Chancellor and Director of Research Development (Dr John-Paul Wilson) • REF Working Group established 2011 (Institutes, Personnel, ASU) • Mock exercise has been undertaken on outputs to identify potential Units of Assessment • Code of Practice for Submission of Staff (for 31st July 2012) • Impact Case Study workshops (June/July 2012) • Equality Impact Assessments (EIAs) undertaken at each stage • Reports to Vice Chancellor’s Advisory Group, Research and Knowledge Transfer Committee, Academic Board

  15. NOW • All outputs should have been put on the WRAP • Collect outputs and update the record of outputs • New staff will be asked whether they intend to submit • Survey of staff circumstances • Champions for each UoA to be finalised • Preparation of Impact Case Studies • Drafting of Research Environment templates • Preparation for Survey of Submission Intentions (5th December) • REF Submission Pilot

  16. Outputs • Submitted staff will need to have produced 4 outputs (publications and other assessable items) since January 2008 unless they have special individual circumstances • Judgements need to be made about the likely quality of these outputs and whether they adhere to the definition of research in the REF • Some external advice is being sought • Co-authorship is allowed • Citation data will be used to assess ‘at the margins’ in some UoAs • Double weighting of items can be argued

  17. What is an ‘output’? • Product of research “process of investigation leading to new insights, effectively shared” (see handout) • First brought into public domain during period 01/01/08 – 31/12/13 • By a member of staff (i.e. not a research student) • Can include: • printed academic work; • new materials, devices, images, artefacts, products and buildings; • confidential or technical reports; • intellectual property including patents and other forms; • performances, exhibits or events; • work published in non-print media; • reviews, textbooks or edited works (if they embody research)

  18. 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’ • Impact template (20% weighting) sets out the general approach to supporting impact from research • Impact case studies (80% weighting) includes examples of impacts with evidence of impacts already achieved • Impact relates to the period of the REF (2008-2013) and the underpinning research (of at least 2* quality) must have been undertaken since 1993 • 1 Case study per 10 staff ftes +1 extra per UoA

  19. Environment • Environment data will include: • Research doctoral degrees awarded • Research income • Research income in kind • Qualitative information on the environment in the University and the Unit of Assessment. The narrative will include: • Overview of research environment • Research strategy • People (staffing strategy, staff development, research students) • Income, infrastructure and facilities • Collaboration and contribution to the discipline

  20. Code of Practice • Submitted in July 2012 (available on the Research Portal) • Underpinned by principles of fairness and transparency • REF Equality and Diversity Panel will examine all CoPs • CoP will be published alongside our submission at end of REF • CoP covers: purpose; principles; legal framework; roles & responsibilities; selection; disclosure of individual circumstances; feedback and appeals • Clearly defined circumstances (ECR; PT working; maternity, paternity or adoption leave; secondments outside the HEI sector) • Complex circumstances (disability; ill-health or injury; mental health conditions; constraints related to pregnancy or maternity; childcare or caring responsibilities; gender reassignment; Other circumstances relating to the above)

  21. Submission System • Pilot submission system open now until November 2012 • Full submission system will open from 1st January 2013 until 29th November 2013. • JPW and RF have login permissions – inputting can be extended to others in the institution (maybe academic or administrative staff) • Full manual is available from the REF website: http://www.ref.ac.uk/ • Research portal will be used to store useful information (including this presentation and the Code of Practice) under ‘Research Excellence Framework’ http://www.worcester.ac.uk/researchportal/

  22. Audit and Results • Audit and verification • All processes will be audited • All institutions will be audited against at least one element • Results: • An overall quality profile (in 1% steps) will be published for each UoA against each starred level • Institution will also get a commentary for each UoA • Results will be published December 2014 • Publication of submissions, panel overview reports and sub-profiles in Spring 2015

  23. Any questions?