Policy: Feedback Sought on the Assessment of People, Culture and Environment in REF 2028

The funding bodies are inviting written comments on the assessment of people, culture and environment in REF 2028.

In June 2023, the four UK higher education funding bodies – Research England, Scottish Funding Council (SFC), Higher Education Funding Council for Wales (HEFCW) and Department for Education Northern Ireland (DfE NI) – published key decisions of the high-level design of the next Research Excellence Framework (REF). These key decisions were designed to expand the definition of research excellence and, crucially, ensure that appropriate recognition is given to the people, cultures and environments (PCE) that underpin the research system.

As part of this process, the funding bodies announced their intention to increase focus on the assessment of the conditions that are an essential feature of research excellence. To ensure robustness of this assessment, the funding bodies are seeking to develop a tightly-structured statement, which draws on outcomes-focused indicators.

The funding bodies are therefore inviting written comments on the assessment of PCE in REF 2028. Respondents are invited to outline the challenges and opportunities they see in the changes to PCE assessment announced in the Initial decisions. Respondents are also invited to outline any concerns they may have about this element of REF 2028 and suggest solutions to challenges and concerns identified. Insights from these responses will be used to inform the development of this element of REF 2028.

Responses are invited from any organisation, group or individual with an interest in the conduct, quality, funding or use of research in the UK.

Responses should be submitted by 1 December 2023 (17:00 GMT).

(This report was the subject of a ResearchConnect Newsflash.)