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HEFCE closed at the end of March 2018. The information on this website is historical and is no longer maintained.

Many of HEFCE's functions will be continued by the Office for Students, the new regulator of higher education in England, and Research England, the new council within UK Research and Innovation.

The HEFCE domain - - will continue to function until September 2018. At this point we will close the site entirely and all its information will only be available from the National Web Archive.


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Anna Lang, REF Deputy Manager and Kim Hackett, REF Manager

Kim Hackett has been appointed as the REF Manager, taking up the role in January 2017. Anna Lang has been appointed as the REF Deputy Manager, and began her role in August 2016.

Both Kim and Anna bring a detailed knowledge of research assessment through previous roles at HEFCE. Kim worked on the early development of impact for REF 2014, as well as leading the evaluation activity for the 2014 exercise. Before taking up the role of REF Manager, Kim worked for the government social research service at the Welsh Government. She holds a PhD in History and a Masters in Policy Research.

Anna worked in the 2014 REF team from 2010 to 2014, and more recently supported an evaluation of research quality in the humanities in Norway. Prior to her new role, Anna had responsibility for HEFCE’s research funding policy. She also worked closely on HEFCE’s analysis of the REF 2014 impact case studies, and the development of the impact case study analysis tool. Anna studied Psychology at Cardiff University.

The four UK funding bodies are currently consulting on proposals for the second REF [Note 3], scheduled for 2021. As part of the consultation, five briefing events are being run in London (twice), Glasgow, Manchester and Bristol [Note 4].

The consultation follows an independent review of the exercise last year, led by Lord Stern. Initial decisions on the next REF are expected to be confirmed later this year.

Commenting on her appointment, Kim Hackett said:

‘I’m delighted to have been appointed to lead development of the next REF. The recommendations in the Stern review set out key principles for revising the framework, and I look forward to working with the sector to develop the most appropriate detailed framework that will best embody these principles.’

Steven Hill, Head of Research Policy at HEFCE, said:

‘We are fortunate to have such a well-qualified and skilled team in place to develop and deliver the next REF. I am looking forward to working with Kim and Anna.’


1. The four UK funding bodies are: Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE), the Scottish Funding Council (SFC), the Higher Education Funding Council for Wales (HEFCW) and the Department for the Economy, Northern Ireland (DEL).

2. The REF is the system for assessing the quality of research in UK higher education institutions. It was first conducted in 2014, replacing the Research Assessment Exercise, last conducted in 2008.

3. See the Consultation on the second Research Excellence Framework

4. See details of the briefing events.