Circular Letter

27 November 2019

REF 2021 Circular Letter concerning the codes of practice complaints process

Dear Vice-Chancellor or Principal,

  1. I am writing to notify you of the UK funding bodies’ intention to publish a public consultation upon the management of complaints and investigations relating to the application of the 2021 Research Excellence Framework, (REF 2021) Codes of practice (COP).
  2. You will be aware that each institution participating in REF 2021 must develop, document and apply a code of practice on key decision for the exercise.
  3. During 2019 the UK funding bodies assessed and approved the COP of each institution participating in REF 2021.
  4. In the REF 2021 Guidance on codes of practice (REF 2019/3), the UK funding bodies committed to put in place measures to enable individuals to make a formal complaint, where it is believed that agreed COP processes have not been followed.
  5. The purpose of the complaints process will be to ensure that institutions’ approved COPs are implemented fairly and consistently and provide assurance to the UK funding bodies of the accuracy of submissions to REF 2021. This assurance helps meet the UK funding bodies’ obligations concerning equality, diversity and inclusion.
  6. The funding bodies have taken the decision to seek the views of the sector on the proposed complaints and investigation process. This will ensure that a range of views from a variety of stakeholders are considered.
  7. I would like to notify you that the consultation will open on the 8 January 2020. Further details about the consultation will be published at this time.
  8. I encourage you to participate in the consultation and ask that you promote the opportunity to provide views upon this matter, as appropriate within your institution.
  9. Please address any queries about this letter to Research Policy.

Yours sincerely

Steven Hill
Director of Research