John Denham Announces: Proposals for REF to Move Ahead
Proposals to develop the Research Excellence Framework (REF), the successor to the Research Assessment Exercise (RAE) are to move ahead, following a statement today by John Denham, Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills.
Two significant changes to the proposals have occurred, following consultation by HEFCE, to which the BES responded:
1. The timescale for introducing the REF will be pushed back by 12 months to allow a more comprehensive pilot of the new system to be run.
2. There will no longer be such a clear distinction between arrangements for science-based and non-science subjects, as originally proposed. Assessment of both sets of subjects will proceed through a system of metrics (including bibliometrics where appropriate) and peer-review by expert panels.
No information is yet available on whether scientists’ engagement in outward-facing activities, such as engagement with policy, will be considered in acdemics’ assessment under the REF, something which the BES would strongly support.
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