REF2021: Staff Circumstances Update

The Research Excellence Framework (REF) assesses the quality of research in the UK Universities and HE colleges.

Have you heard of Surrey’s REF 2021 Staff Circumstances process?

A voluntary and confidential process, for all staff whose outputs are eligible for submission into REF 2021. The process ends 31st July 2020.

What is the Staff Circumstances process for?

The process captures information on circumstances that have affected staff’s ability to research productively over the REF 2021 assessment period (1 January 2014 – 31 July 2020).

This information enables Surrey to recognise not only the effect circumstances can have on an individual researcher’s productivity but also the accumulative effect for the REF Unit of Assessments (UOA). You may feel that one period of parental leave did not impact your ability to research productively over the REF 2021 assessment period. However, for a small REF UOA it only takes a few staff with individual circumstances to have a significant impact on the output pool for the Unit as a whole.

Have you had any circumstances that have affected your ability to research productively during the REF 2021 assessment period (1 January 2014 – 31 July 2020)?

Circumstances such as qualifying as an ECR (starting in a REF eligible post on or after 1st August 2016), taking parental leave or being impacted by ill health or disability (full list here).

Only a few weeks left, the voluntary Staff Circumstances process is open until 31st July 2020 and is the only way this information will be captured for REF 2021, as it needs to be freely supplied rather than centrally gathered from HR records.

Having this information will ensure that we are in the best position possible to optimise our REF 2021 submission and fully represent the excellent quality of research being produced at Surrey.

If one or more of the applicable circumstances applies to you, you are invited to complete the form (attached).

The process is entirely voluntary and confidential and providing information will not affect any other University process such as appraisals.

If you have any questions about the process please do contact the REF 2021 team