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HEFCE welcomes today's announcement by David Willetts, Minister of State for Universities and Science, which confirms the timetable for the Research Excellence Framework (REF). The assessment phase of the REF will take place during 2014 to inform funding from 2015-16. The REF is the new system for assessing the quality of research in UK higher education institutions.

This will provide the UK higher education funding bodies, working with the sector, sufficient time to develop a robust method for assessing the impact of research, as part of the REF.

HEFCE will shortly be announcing the designated chairs of the four Main Panels who will provide leadership and ensure the effective conduct of the assessment process by a group of expert panels. Initially the Chairs designate will advise on further planning and development of the REF before taking up their roles as Main Panel Chairs later this year.

Further details on the REF