As we look forward to designing a new assessment framework for research, the funding bodies are undertaking a programme of evaluation activities to measure the current system.
Understanding perceptions of the REF
A large-scale review, commissioned by Research England on behalf of the four higher education funding bodies and published by RAND Europe, collected attitudes to the REF in real time as UK institutions prepared their submissions. It gathered views via a survey (with 3,000+ researcher responses), as well as focus groups and one-to-one interviews with researchers, research managers, and institutional leads.
The review also considered the impact of changes made to the REF since the previous exercise in 2014. Download the real-time REF review report (pdf).
The funding bodies have invited an expert panel to lead a review of the role of metrics in research management and assessment. This review, The Metric Tide Revisited, will take a short, sharp, evidence-informed look at current and potential uses of metrics against a set of tightly-defined objectives:
- To revisit the conclusions and recommendations of the last detailed review of these questions—The Metric Tide (2015)—and assess progress against these
- To consider whether developments over recent years in the infrastructures, methodologies and uses of research metrics negate or change any of those 2015 conclusions, or suggest additional priorities
- To look afresh at the role of metrics in any future Research Excellence Framework (REF), and consider whether design changes now under consideration as part of the FRAP suggest similar or different conclusions to those reached in 2015
- To offer updated advice to UKRI and the UK’s higher education funding bodies on the most effective ways of supporting and incentivising responsible research assessment and responsible uses of metrics