Consultation Launched into Future Research Assessment Throughout the UK
The consultation forms a part of the wider Future Research Assessment Programme (FRAP), which aims to explore possible approaches to the assessment of UK higher education research performance.
The UK’s four higher education funding bodies – Research England, the Scottish Funding Council, the Higher Education Funding Council for Wales, and the Department for the Economy, Northern Ireland – have together launched a consultation on the future UK-wide research assessment system.
The consultation forms a part of the wider Future Research Assessment Programme (FRAP), which aims to explore possible approaches to the assessment of UK higher education research performance. Respondents are invited to share their views on:
- The purposes of future exercises.
- The high-level principles that should underpin their development.
- Future assessment criteria and processes.
- How to ensure proportionate levels of bureaucracy in future exercises.
The results of the consultation will contribute to the broad evidence base being compiled by the funding bodies, alongside a range of evaluations and analyses of the current Research Excellence Framework (REF) and advice from the FRAP International Advisory Group.
Catriona Firth, Associate Director of Research Environment at Research England said:
“Consultation is central to FRAP.
“The REF is a sector-owned exercise, developed and undertaken in partnership with the research community.
“It is crucial that those who work in and engage with the research sector have their voices heard at this early stage in the development of the next exercise.
“By holding the consultation at this point, we hope the sector will be able to contribute meaningfully to the design.
“Running it alongside our evaluations of REF 2021 should also enable us to provide early clarity on the shape of the next exercise and develop a system that is built on robust evidence and reflects the priorities of the sector.
“We are not starting from scratch, the evidence base from the current exercise will provide a solid foundation for us to build on.”
The funding bodies will hold a number of online ‘town hall’ events throughout the consultation period to provide further details about the background, scope and objectives of the FRAP. Interested participants can sign up via the FRAP website, with events taking place on the following:
- Monday 21 March 2022, 14:00-15:30
- Tuesday 29 March 2022, 9:30-11:00
- Wednesday 6 April 2022, 9:30-11:00
The FRAP team are also holding regular Zoom drop-in sessions for those who intend to respond to the consultation.
Consultation responses are invited from any higher education institution, association, organisation or individual with an interest in the conduct, quality, funding or use of research.
Responses should be submitted online by 6 May 2022 (12:00).
(This report was the subject of a ResearchConnect Newsflash.)