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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 The information on this website is historical and is no longer maintained.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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The Research Excellence Framework (REF) (Note 1) is committed to supporting and promoting equality and diversity in research careers, and wishes strongly to encourage institutions to submit the work of all their excellent researchers to the next exercise.

The REF Equality and Diversity Advisory Panel (EDAP) has been established to advise the UK higher education funding bodies (Note 2), the REF team and the REF panels on the implementation of equality measures in the REF. The panel will advise on the development of the full range of measures to promote equality and diversity in the REF, and to demonstrate the UK funding bodies’ commitment to equality and diversity in research careers.

EDAP is made up of eight members who have expertise in equality and diversity issues affecting research careers and experience in research leadership and management. They represent a range of institutions from around the UK.

Professor Dianne Berry OBE was previously announced as the chair of EDAP in March 2017. The full panel membership is announced today (Note 3).


  1. The REF is the system for assessing the quality of research in UK higher education institutions. The most recent exercise concluded in 2014. The REF is a peer review assessment process involving senior UK academics, users of research from organisations beyond higher education and international advisers. The results of the REF are used to drive the UK higher education funding bodies’ annual distribution of research funding to UK universities.
  2. The four UK funding bodies are the 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 (DfE).
  3. The full list of EDAP members can be found at