REF Impact Guide for Research Users

The REF team at HEFCE has produced a short summary of the REF and specifically of research impact, for research users outside academia.  This document can be used to help explain the REF process to organisations you may need to call on to provide evidence to support impact case studies – it outlines the REF process and the timing of when researchers might be asking for supporting evidence.  This document can be found at http://www.ref.ac.uk/users/

At the same time, HEFCE has issued an open call for nominations of research users to be assessors on the REF expert panels.   Nominations can be made using an online form, which you can find here.  The closing date for nominations is midday on Wednesday 5th December 2012.

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New REF FAQs

In case there weren’t enough acronyms in the title for you, HEFCE (Higher Education Funding Council for England) have published answers to a new set of FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions) on the REF (Research Excellence Framework. They’re available here:

HEFCE REF FAQs

The updates include information on the definition of “independent research” for early career researchers; how to determine whether maternity and paternity leave falls substantially within the REF period; and information required for patents and patent applications, among other topics.

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Expanding Access to Published Research Findings – Report Published

The report of the Working Group on Expanding Access to Published Research Findings chaired by Dame Janet Finch has been published. This recommends a programme of action to enable more people to read and use the publications arising from research.

 Better, faster communication of research results will bring benefits for public services and for economic growth. It will also bring improved efficiency for researchers, and opportunities for more public engagement with research. Further details can be found here.

In a press release on 19 June, Research Councils UK (RCUK) say that they welcome the report and that they are strongly committed to improving the access to the outputs of its research, for the benefit of researchers, as well as UK economy and society. RCUK will carefully consider the recommendations from the report, with HEFCE and other stakeholders and, in addition,  will use it to inform the new RCUK Open Access policy, expected to be launched later this summer.

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REF CoP consultation period ends

Northumbria University’s consultation exercise around its Research Excellence Framework (REF) Code of Practice has come to an end.

There was an encouraging degree of interest in the Code, with well over 500 individual visits to the consultation page on the University website.  All suggestions and potential amendments will be reported to the REF Advisory Group at its next (monthly) meeting.

The purpose of the Code is to ensure that decisions about who and what is submitted to the REF are made in a way that is transparent and objective, and complies with equalities legislation.  This entails both legal and moral obligations, which all must be meshed with decisions that enable the University to present its research in the best possible way for REF purposes.

The final version must be submitted to HEFCE by July 31st 2012.

The current version of the Code of Practice can be found here.    (Details of HEFCE’s requirements of the Code can be found in Part 4 of the document here )

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REF Roadshows roll into town….

The PVC for Research, Professor Peter Golding, together with key staff from Research and Business Services, is delivering a series of Roadshows about Northumbria’s involvement in the REF.

Each School will have its own specific Roadshow. The session will incorporate a presentation from the School’s AD for Research, giving specific information on what is expected at both School and University level during the course of the REF submission period, and also discuss the current REF Dry Run which is taking place in preparation for 2014.

Dates, times and locations of the Roadshows can be found below. For further information please email gemma.pringle@northumbria.ac.uk

 

HCES 10/04/2012 14.00 – 15.30 Hall A, Coach Lane Campus
Natural and Built Environment 12/04/2012 14.00 – 15.30 EBA003/5
Design 18/04/2012 15.00 – 16.30 Design School Presentation Hall
Law 25/04/2012 10.00 – 11.30 CCE1 401
Services 01/05/2012 10.00 – 11.30 CCE1 003

 

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Northumbria’s REF Code of Practice Consultation nears end…

Northumbria University is required to submit to HEFCE for approval a Code of Practice on the selection of staff for the Research Excellence Framework.  The format and content of the Code are fairly rigorously prescribed by the Funding Council. It must be submitted by July 31st 2012 and must be approved for us to be eligible to submit to the REF.

The purpose of the Code is to ensure that decisions about who is submitted to the REF are made in a way that is transparent and objective, and complies with equalities legislation.  This entails both legal and moral obligations, which all must be meshed with decisions that enable the University to present its research in the best possible way for REF purposes.

In order to develop its REF procedures, and to assist in making judgements about the quality of our research, the University is currently undertaking a ‘dry run’ by inviting external assessors to review ‘dummy’ submissions.  The results of this dry run, and the draft Code of Practice, will inform the final decisions about the content and form of the University’s submission to the REF.  The comments of Northumbria’s academic staff have been sought and are greatly valued as input into the final version of the University’s Code of Practice.  The consultation process will end on Monday, 2nd April, so please take the time to read the draft (see link below) and comment as you think fit.

The draft Code of Practice can be found here. Your comments should be submitted by Monday, 2 April 2012, to lorraine.brown@northumbria.ac.uk

(Details of HEFCE’s requirements of the Code can be found in Part 4 of the document here )

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