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Academic Research Staff Notices

REF 2021 Code of Practice and Processes

As part of the preparations for REF 2021, the University has developed a Code of Practice setting out its processes for identifying staff for submission to REF 2021 in line with the requirements set out by the UK funding councils. The Code and further details on its development can be found on our REF 2021 Blackboard pages (please note you will need to login into Blackboard to see these pages and enrol on the site).

We are now implementing the processes as set out in the Code of Practice. These processes are designed for staff on eligible contracts as defined for REF 2021 by the UK funding councils.

Staff eligible for submission to REF 2021 are those staff who have a contract of employment of 0.2 FTE or greater and whose primary employment function is to undertake “teaching and research” or “research only”. Staff whose primary employment function is to undertake “teaching only” or who are on non-academic contracts are not eligible for submission. If you have any questions about your eligibility please contact the School’s HR Business Partner.

For staff on a standard academic contract (“teaching and research”), you are now invited to submit a claim for one of the following:

  • Significant Responsibility for Research
  • Emerging Researcher

For staff on a research only contract, you are now invited to submit a claim for one of the following:

  • Independent Researcher
  • Emerging Researcher

Significant Responsibility for Research (SRR)

To make a claim, staff are asked to complete the attached SRR Form and submit by email to REF2021@worc.ac.uk accompanied by a CV where applicable by Monday 8 July. Staff may alternatively request a paper copy of the form (email: REF2021@worc.ac.uk, tel: 01905 542196). The completed form accompanied by a CV where applicable should be sent to the Deputy Pro Vice Chancellor Research, University of Worcester, Henwick Grove, Worcester WR2 6AJ by the same date.

We will identify staff as having a significant responsibility for research (SRR) where they meet the criteria as follows:

(a)          They have produced one or more outputs from research (as defined in REF 2021) to which they have made a contribution (such as would be recognised by an appropriate REF 2021 sub-panel) in the period from 1 January 2014 to the 31 July 2019:

And they meet at least one of the following criteria as of 31 July 2019:

(b)          They have presented their research at one or more external conference of at least national standing in their discipline in the last 24 months

(c)           They are actively engaged in doctoral supervision or have actively made themselves available for doctoral supervision (i.e. they are on the Register for Approved Supervisors)

(d)          They are acting as a Research Mentor

(e)          They have acted as an investigator on an externally funded research project in the last 36 months

(f)           They have submitted at least one application for external research funding in the last 24 months

(g)          They are leading a research group or centre

(h)          They are authoring an Impact Case Study for REF 2021

All staff on a standard academic contract are encouraged to submit a claim where they meet the criteria as set out above.

Independent Researcher

To make a claim staff are asked to complete the attached Independent Researcher Form and submit by email to REF2021@worc.ac.uk accompanied by a CV where applicable by Monday 8 July. Staff may alternatively request a paper copy of the form (email: REF2021@worc.ac.uk, tel: 01905 542196). The completed form accompanied by a CV where applicable should be sent to the Deputy Pro Vice Chancellor Research, University of Worcester, Henwick Grove, Worcester WR2 6AJ by the same date.

A member of staff on a research only contract will normally be deemed to be an independent researcher where they meet one or more of the following criteria:

(a)          They are acting or have acted as an Investigator on an externally funded research project. For staff being submitted to Units of Assessment in Panels A and B, this must be as Principal Investigator; for staff being submitted to Units of Assessment in Panels C and D, this may also be as Co-Investigator.

(b)          They hold an independently won, competitively awarded fellowship where research independence is a requirement.

(c)           They are leading a research group.

(d)          They are leading a substantial or specialised work package in a programme of research.

(e)          For staff being submitted to Units of Assessment in Panels C and D, they have had a significant input into the design, conduct and interpretation of a programme of research.

However, it is important to recognise any claim for research independence will be considered holistically and meeting just one of the criteria above may not always be judged sufficient in its own right.

The following criteria are not seen as indicators in their own right but will be used to help inform any decision on research independence:

(a)          They are acting as a Director of Studies for a doctoral student.

(b)          They have submitted one or more application for external funding in the last 24 months where they are named as the Principal Investigator.

(c)           They are sole, first or corresponding author on two or more outputs from research produced in the period from January 1 2014 to the present.

Emerging Researcher

Any eligible member of staff who feel they do not meet the criteria for “Significant Responsibility for Research” or for “Independent Researcher” might wish to make a claim to be an Emerging Researcher.

To make a claim staff are asked to complete the attached Emerging Researcher Form and submit by email to REF2021@worc.ac.uk accompanied by a CV where applicable by Monday 8 July. Staff may alternatively request a paper copy of the form (email: REF2021@worc.ac.uk, tel: 01905 542196). The completed form accompanied by a CV where applicable should be sent to the Deputy Pro Vice Chancellor Research, University of Worcester, Henwick Grove, Worcester WR2 6AJ by the same date.

To be identified as an Emerging Researcher staff must meet one or more of the following criteria:

(a)          They meet the REF 2021 definition for an ECR, that is they must have held their first eligible contract on or after 1 August 2016

(b)          They have completed their doctoral study in the last 24 months

(c)           The University is currently supporting them to undertake doctoral study

(d)          Their line manager has agreed at appraisal that the University will support them to undertake doctoral study

(e)          They are academic staff whose primary function is “research only” but they are not “independent” as set out in Part 3 of this Code of Practice.

What will happen next?

The REF Panels for each College will consider all claims made for Significant Responsibility for Research, Independent Researcher and Emerging Researcher in the week commencing Monday 15 July. These panels will make recommendations to the REF Strategy Implementation Group which will approve or not these recommendations. Details of the membership and terms of reference of all REF Panels and Group can be found on our REF 2021 Blackboard pages.

Outcomes of the process will be communicated to staff in the week commencing Monday 29 July identifying whether a claim has been accepted or not. If not then a reasoned decision will be provided. Staff will be able to appeal this decision. Details of the appeals process will be communicated at the same time as the decisions.

If you have any questions about the Code of Practice or the processes set out here please contact the College Director of Research & Knowledge Exchange or alternatively email REF2021@worc.ac.uk.

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