Research Excellence Framework (REF) 2028 update

November 2023

Following the publication of initial decisions on REF 2028, the four UK Higher Education funding bodies have continued to engage with and actively listen to the community. The initial decisions consultation closed as planned on 6 October and funding bodies are now analysing the 260 responses received.

The tender opportunity for work to co-develop indicators for people, culture and environment with the community has closed and assessment is in progress.

Funding bodies have invited written comments on the assessment of people, culture and environment, closing on 1 December. Additional engagements are ongoing.

Planned next steps are:

  • December 2023: in advance of the publication of the summary report from the initial decisions consultation, announce the issues emerging from the analysis of responses and plans for progression of these. This is likely to include consideration of:
    • The use of HESA data for calculating volume measures
    • Confirmation of the Unit of Assessment structure
    • Thresholds for the sliding scale for impact case studies
    • Participation qualifications and guidance around demonstrating a substantive link between individuals and institutions
    • Minimum and/or maximum outputs per individual and connected policy
  • January 2024: announce the successful bidder for the people, culture and environment indicators tender and outline how that work will progress.
  • Spring 2024: publish Further Decisions report.

Focus is now on analysing the high volume and high quality of input we continue to receive from the community. Alongside this, preparation for the REF 2028 consultation on Open Access, recruitment of the REF team and development of the REF 2028 website are underway.