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On 24 March 2020 the REF was put on hold until further notice in order to recognise that, in light of COVID-19, institutions are needing to divert staff resource to other critical areas, including for those in clinical and health-related fields. The REF team wished to reassure institutions that such activities could be prioritised without concern for the effect on REF preparations. As part of the development of contingency arrangements for the exercise, the REF team ran a webinar on 24 June, setting out the proposed modifications to the exercise on which we sought views in an online survey. These comprised proposed modifications to the outputs, impact and environment elements of submissions. The survey was open for two weeks, closing on 8 July 2020. 

This document summarises responses to the survey.

Key points

The survey sought views on three questions as follows:

  • Whether the proposed modifications for outputs are appropriate

  • Whether the proposed modification for impact is appropriate

  • Whether the proposed modifications for the environment are appropriate.

Responses to all three questions indicated that a majority considered the proposed modifications to be appropriate, though many of those respondents making substantive further comment requested further guidance on the details of the proposed modifications.

Action required

This document is for information.