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The four UK higher education funding bodies are currently finalising a set of proposed modifications to the 2021 Research Excellence Framework (REF), to take account of the effect of COVID-19 on REF submissions. This set of proposals draws on a breadth of evidence and advice, including sector feedback, discussion with panels and a series of expert advisory groups.

The Funding Bodies expect to announce a revised timetable for the exercise shortly. Alongside the revised timetable, the Funding Bodies are also considering a number of additional changes to the framework. To inform final decisions on changes to be implemented, views will be invited from the HE sector and wider partners on proposed mitigations for each element of submissions: outputs, impact and environment.

The REF team, based at Research England, will run a live webinar at 10:00-11:00 on Wednesday 24 June, setting out the proposals and the questions on which views will be sought. The webinar will also be available to view on the REF website afterwards.

Views on the proposals will be gathered via a short survey, which will also open on Wednesday 24 June, following the webinar. The deadline for responses will be noon, Wednesday 8 July.


  • View further information about joining the webinar here.
  • The survey will be available here.