Research Excellence Framework review: call for evidence

Closed 24 Mar 2016

Opened 27 Jan 2016


Lord Stern On 16 December 2015, Universities and Science Minister Jo Johnson launched a UK-wide review of the Research Excellence Framework (REF) to ensure that future university research funding is allocated more efficiently, offers greater rewards for excellent research and reduces the administrative burden on institutions. The review is chaired, in a personal capacity, by the President of the British Academy, Lord Nicholas Stern.

The Government, Lord Stern and the Review Steering Group are agreed on the vital role of quality-related (QR) research funding as part of the UK’s dual-funding system. Research assessment to recognise excellence and impact is important for a principled and evidence-based distribution of resources through QR and ultimately to contribute to national research strategies. But there may be opportunities to make the REF more effective and efficient in achieving this. It is essential that research assessment is fit for purpose, efficient, and carries the confidence of the UK academic community and other stakeholders. This review seeks to consider these aspects.

The review has already received many helpful inputs through the community’s response to the Higher Education Green Paper consultation questions on the REF. We want to build on those responses. The review will also draw on the rich literature available evaluating the REF and predecessor RAE assessments (see the note on evidence base). Through this call for additional evidence we want to explore some of the issues that have arisen in early discussions and investigate ways in which a simpler, lighter-touch, system for the REF might be developed.

Responses to this call for evidence should be limited to not more than 3000 words in total, and may focus on a sub-set of the question areas.


  • Universities
  • Students
  • University staff
  • Learned societies
  • University associations
  • Higher Education institutions
  • HE representative bodies
  • Universities
  • Research Councils
  • Research Funders
  • Science Policy organisations and thinktanks
  • Learned Societies
  • National Academies
  • University associations
  • Researchers
  • Innovation community


  • Research
  • Higher Education
  • University