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Research Strategy Office


The date of the next Research Excellence Framework is not yet known, but it is likely to be 2021 (i.e. submission late in 2020. The Stern Review published in July 2016 makes a series of recommendations about the next REF. Consultation on the review is expected later this year. Meanwhile, there are two important activities that should continue to be progressed by all academic staff:

  1. Impact. It is essential to record impact-related activity so that this information is available when impact case studies are required for the next REF. The University has established an Impact Repository to facilitate the recording of this information. Your departmental administrator should be able to advise on access to this; for further information contact Stephanie Swain.
  2. Open Access. HEFCE require all papers (and conference proceedings with ISSN numbers) to be made open access within three months of the date of author-accepted manuscript if they are to be eligible for the REF. It is thus essential that all such papers are made open access within this time period; to do this, go to

The University's management of its next REF submission is being managed by two bodies – the REF Policy Committee and the REF Project Board. For further information, click here. For contact details of key REF individuals, click here.

Findings from ongoing reviews of the University’s REF 2014 impact submission are summarised in "Impact case studies: Lessons learned from REF 2014"

This page will be updated once more information is known about the next REF.

Vice-Chancellor's Awards for Impact

Cash awards have been established to recognise and reward those whose research has led to excellent impact.  Details of the winning nominations of the 2016 inaugural awards can be found here.