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This page has been updated in accordance with the revised timetable. The full 'Guidance on revisions to REF 2021' following the effects of COVID-19 can be found here.



September 2017

Publication of ‘Initial decisions on the Research Excellence Framework’ by the funding bodies, following consultation on implementation of the Stern review recommendations (REF 2017/01)

October 2017

Publication of ‘Roles and recruitment of expert panels’ (REF 2017/03)

November 2017

Publication of ’Decisions on staff and outputs’ (2017/04)

March 2018

Panel membership for criteria phase announced

End of July 2018

Publication of draft ‘Guidance on submissions’ and ‘Panel criteria’ for consultation

15 October 2018

Close of consultation on draft ‘Guidance on submissions’ and ‘Panel criteria’

January 2019

Publication of final ‘Guidance on submissions’, ’Panel criteria’, and ‘Guidance on codes of practice’; appointment of additional EDAP members 

Spring/summer 2019

Institutions intending to make submissions to the REF submit their codes of practice; invitation to request multiple submissions, case studies requiring security clearance, and exceptions to submission for small units (staggered deadlines in May, September and December 2019); beta versions of the submission system will be available in both test and live environments for institutions to use

Autumn 2019

Pilot of the REF submission system; survey of submissions intentions opens; proposed date for inviting reduction requests for staff circumstances

December 2019

Survey of submissions intentions complete; final deadline for requests for multiple submissions, case studies requiring security clearance, and exceptions to submission for small units; publication of approved codes of practice

Early 2020

Formal release of the submission systems and accompanying technical guidance; invitation to HEIs to make submissions; invitation to nominate panel members and assessors for the assessment phase; deadline for staff circumstances requests

31 July 2020

Exercise recommences; Census date for staff; end of assessment period (the research environment and data about research income and research doctoral degrees awarded)

14 August 2020

Final deadline for REF6a requests further information

21 August 2020

Final deadline for REF6b requests further information

W/c 14 September 2020

Outcomes of REF6 requests released

Autumn 2020

Appointment of additional members and assessors to panels

2 November 2020

Deadline for HEIs to seek agreement to submit impact case studies from research that was undertaken by an absorbed unit before that unit became part of the submitting HEI; deadline for submission of requests for an output reduction in a unit affected by major unforeseen events

By 6 November 2020

Funding bodies’ review of contingency arrangements

31 December 2020

End of publication period (cut-off point for publication of research outputs, and for outputs underpinning impact case studies); end of impact assessment period

31 March 2021 (Midday)

Closing date for submissions

1 June 2021

Deadline for providing redacted versions of impact case studies and corroborating evidence held for impact case studies

30 July 2021

Deadline for submission of staff circumstances report, equalities impact assessment, and final Codes of practice

May 2021 – February 2022

Panels assess submissions

April 2022

Publication of outcomes

Summer 2022

Publication of submissions, panel overview reports and sub-profiles