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Research Excellence Framework (REF)

Following consultation, involving the RAS, HEFCE has agreed to modify the replacement system for the Research Assessment Exercise (RAE), which determines universities' research funding.

Two modifications are being made to the plans for implementing the REF.Firstly, the timetable for designing the new framework will be extended by 12 months to allow sufficient time for the development of this more flexible approach to the funding and assessment of research.
Secondly, within the REF's overarching framework, there will no longer be such a clear distinction between the arrangements for science-based subjects and those for all other subjects. For all subjects the assessment will include some combination of metrics-based indicators, including bibliometrics where appropriate, as well as input from expert panels.

The Chair of the RAS Higher Education Committee, Professor Jim Hough, welcomed this announcement; 'We told HEFCE that, for physical sciences, it would be unsafe to rely on metrics alone and that more time was needed before rolling out the REF and we are pleased that they have listened'

HEFCE's announcement and the analysis of responses to the consultation can be found here