What is the REF2021?

The Research Excellence Framework (REF) is the system used by the funding bodies for UK higher education, to assess research quality in UK universities. This takes place every 6 years and is carried out by a panel of experts working on behalf of the four UK higher education funding bodies. The assessment results are used to allocate research funding (approximately £2 billion annually) and provide the public with information about the quality of a university’s research.

Submissions for the next REF cycle close in November 2020, with results to be published in December 2021. More information on the REF2021, including publications and consultation documents, can be found at http://www.ref.ac.uk

How will research quality be assessed?

The research information assessed, focuses on three elements: outputs (mostly publications), impact (the benefit or change to society) and environment (the structures and strategies in place to support research).

The results of the assessment are presented as a ‘quality profile’ which shows the percentage of the research according to five quality ratings:

  • 4* (world-leading)
  • 3* (internationally excellent)
  • 2* (internationally recognised)
  • 1* (nationally recognised)
  • U/C which is unclassified

University of Huddersfield REF2021 Code of Practice

It is a requirement that every institution making a REF submission develops, documents and applies a code of practice, which outlines the process for the following:

  • The selection of research outputs, including approaches to supporting staff with individual circumstances
  • Identification of staff with significant responsibility for research
  • Determining staff who are classified as independent researchers

Following publication of the final REF documentation on 31 January 2019, the University of Huddersfield developed their REF Code of Practice through a consultative process, which was submitted to Research England for consideration, in June 2019. This was approved for implementation in August 2019, pending minor further clarifications, which have now been made. If you have any comments, concerns or questions please don’t hesitate to contact us at REF2021@hud.ac.uk

Download the UoH REF2021 Code of Practice.

University of Huddersfield Privacy Notice

The University’s REF2021 staff data collection statement and non-staff data collection statement explains what personal information the University holds about you in relation to the REF2021 exercise, including why this information is held, what we do with it, how long it is kept for and if we share it with third parties.

Personal data provided to the University of Huddersfield (UoH) for the purposes of evidencing research impact or environment, as part of the REF2021 assessment, will be held only for the duration of the assessment period. Once this is over (31st December 2021) personal data will be anonymised and deleted from the UoH systems. For more information about how your data is used throughout the REF assessment exercise, see the Fair Processing Notice on the REF2021 website.

Support to staff contributing to the REF2021 submission

The University’s intranet provides guidance and support to staff who are preparing to submit to the REF2021, including further information for impact case study authors. You will need to login using your staff username and password.