Real-Time REF Review

The Real-Time REF Review (RTRR) is a longitudinal study which aims to understand the attitudes and perspectives of the UK’s higher education research community towards the Research Excellence Framework 2021.

Pilot Study

The RTRR Pilot Study was commissioned by Research England and developed and delivered by Cardiff University, The University of Sheffield and Research England. The exercise gathered initial data during 2018 and tested the feasibility of conducting a longitudinal study into academic and managerial attitudes towards the REF.

Data was collected in four UK Higher Education Institutions and comprised of two phases:

  1. Phase 1 consisted of a survey study intended to understand the perceptions and experiences of research-active academics within the four universities.
  2. Phase 2 consisted of semi-structured interviews with individuals who play an active role in REF management within the four universities.

The findings of the pilot are outlined in the executive summary below, are drawn from a working paper published here.

Full Study (2020/21)

Research England and the devolved funding bodies have commissioned RAND Europe to take forward and develop the pilot into a full UK-wide study. Data will be collected in ‘real-time’ as institutions prepare to submit to the REF 2021, accounting for the revised submission schedule due to COVID-19. Read this blog to find out more.