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The four UK Higher Education Funding Bodies (Note 1) are delighted to announce the appointment of the chairs of the four main panels for the Research Excellence Framework (REF) 2021 (Note 2).

The main panels will provide leadership and guidance to the sub-panels that undertake the REF assessment. As chairs designate, the appointees will at first advise the funding bodies on the initial decisions and on the further development of the framework. They will take up their roles as chairs later in the year, once the outcomes of the ‘Consultation on the second Research Excellence Framework’ (HEFCE 2016/36) are announced and further appointments to the REF panels have been made.

The Main Panel Chairs (designate) for each of the four main panel areas are:

  • Main Panel A: Medicine, health and life sciences – Professor John Iredale, Pro Vice-Chancellor Health, University of Bristol  
  • Main Panel B: Physical sciences, engineering and mathematics – Professor David Price, Vice-Provost (Research), University College London
  • Main Panel C: Social sciences – Professor Jane Millar OBE, Professor of Social Policy and former Pro Vice-Chancellor for Research, University of Bath.
  • Main Panel D: Arts and humanities – Professor Dinah Birch CBE, Pro Vice-Chancellor for Research and Impact, University of Liverpool.

Dr Kim Hackett, REF manager, said:

‘I am delighted to welcome the REF Main Panel Chairs to the exercise. These four individuals bring significant research expertise and experience of research assessment to these roles, and will provide strong leadership and guidance in all aspects of the REF. I look forward to working with them to ensure we deliver a successful and robust REF2021.’

Notes

  1. 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).
  2. The Research Excellence Framework (REF) is the system for assessing the quality of research in UK universities and higher education colleges. The results of the REF drive the allocation of public funding for research. This major exercise is undertaken by the four UK higher education funding bodies. It was first conducted in 2014, replacing the Research Assessment Exercise. The development of the next exercise is now well underway.
  3. The chairs were appointed via an open recruitment process. Details of this process can be found in the advert for the role.
  4. Biographies for the four Main Panel Chairs designate are available on our website under ‘The second Research Excellence Framework’
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