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It is with great sorrow that we have learnt of the death of Simon Gaunt, a diligent, wise and scrupulously fair member of sub-panel D26. Simon served in REF2014 and brought a wealth of experience to the current exercise, from the criteria-setting phase onwards. He was a vital, charismatic presence in our meetings, and we have benefited greatly his invaluable insight throughout the REF process. 

Simon was a brilliant scholar. His contribution to the study of medieval Occitan and Old French literature was an exceptional one, with recent pioneering work on understandings of French as a transnational language in the Middle Ages funded by major grants from the AHRC and ERC. At the same time, Simon was a dedicated mentor and tireless champion of emerging scholars.

Simon’s qualities of collegiality and fairness, together with his meticulous attention to detail and willingness to offer challenge when necessary, meant that he was perfectly suited to serving on a REF sub-panel. We have lost a colleague of great integrity, and a selfless servant of French studies and of the discipline of Modern Languages more generally. We all appreciated working alongside Simon and learnt much from him in the process.  He will be sorely missed. 

Professor Charles Forsdick (Chair, Sub-panel 26) and Professor Dinah Birch CBE (Chair, Main Panel D)