Making science work for development

Next steps for developing the 2021 Research Excellence Framework

14 November

Westminster Higher Education Forum Keynote Seminar

Next steps for developing the 2021 Research Excellence Framework


Kim Hackett, REF Manager and Head of Research Assessment, HEFCE


Professor Dianne Berry, University of Reading and REF Equality and Diversity Advisory Panel;Michelle Double, University of Leeds;Tom Frostick, University Alliance;Matthew Guest, GuildHE;Jonathan Legh-Smith, BT;Professor Martin McQuillan, Kingston University London;Dr Lisa Mooney, University of East London and REF Interdisciplinary Research Advisory Panel;Alan Palmer, MillionPlus;Dr Malcolm Skingle, GSK andDr Carl Walker, University of Brighton and National Senior Management Survey

Morning, Tuesday, 14th November 2017

Central London

The focus:

To discuss the composition of the next cycle of the Research Excellence Framework (REF), expected to take place in 2021.


The seminar follows the publication of initial decisions from HEFCE’s consultation on REF 2021. The agenda also includes a keynote address on the outcomes from the consultation from Kim Hackett, REF Manager and Head of Research Assessment, HEFCE.

Key discussion points:

  • Moving forward from REF 2014
    • Outcomes from HEFCE’s consultation; and
    • Areas for continuation from the previous cycle and priorities for improvement.
  • Reforming the framework structure
    • Changes to panel composition to reflect diversity;
    • Expanding submission to cover all research-active staff; and
    • Strategies for reducing ‘gaming’, including the creation of non-portable outputs.
  • Using the REF to incentivise developments in research
    • Encouraging interdisciplinary research;
    • Allowing submissions from cross-institutional partnerships; and
    • Incentivising industry collaboration.
  • Reforming ‘impact’ and ‘research environment’
    • Widening and deepening the definition of ‘impact’ to encompass diversity in research; and
    • Changes to research environment criteria, such as institution-level assessment.

The draft agenda is copied below my signature, and a regularly updated version is available to download here. The seminar is organised on the basis of strict impartiality by the Westminster Higher Education Forum. Follow us @WHEFEvents for live updates.


Keynotes: Kim Hackett, REF Manager and Head of Research Assessment, HEFCE.

Further confirmed speakers: Professor Dianne Berry, Dean of Postgraduate Research Studies and Professor of Psychology, University of Reading and Chair, REF Equality and Diversity Advisory Panel; Michelle Double, Acting Head of Quality and Policy, Research and Enterprise Service, University of Leeds; Tom Frostick, Policy and Programmes Manager (Research & International), University Alliance; Matthew Guest, Senior Policy Advisor, GuildHE; Jonathan Legh-Smith, Head of Partnerships & Strategic Research, BT; Professor Martin McQuillan, Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research and Innovation), Kingston University London; Dr Lisa Mooney, Pro Vice-Chancellor (Research and Knowledge Exchange), University of East London and Member, REF Interdisciplinary Research Advisory Panel; Alan Palmer, Head of Policy and Research, MillionPlus; Dr Malcolm Skingle, Director, Academic Liaison, GSK and Dr Carl Walker, Principal Lecturer, Applied Social Science, University of Brighton and Coordinator, National Senior Management Survey.