Call for nominations for appointments to REF 2021 sub-panels

Research England has launched a further call for nominations for appointments to REF 2021 sub-panels, in order to meet specific expertise requirements identified.

The Nutrition Society is a recognised nominating body and will provide nominations to Research England by the final deadline of noon on Friday 3 April 2020.

Please read further for a detailed description of the process and requirements for submitting an application if you are interested in being nominated as a panel member and/or REF assessor. 

Please take note of the expertise session below (see point 4). The Society strongly welcome a diverse set of applications (see point 3).

You can submit an application by filling in this form with the relevant information.

The Society’s deadline for receiving applications is midnight on Monday 30 March 2020.

CALL FOR APPLICATIONS – further details:

1. What is REF and why is it important?

The Research Excellence Framework (REF) is an assessment process used by the UK’s higher education funding bodies to determine the quality of research in UK universities and inform how much public money is given to universities to support that research.

The REF takes place every seven years: the last one happened in 2014, and the next exercise will take place in 2021. The results of REF 2021 will inform and direct around £2 billion per year of quality-related research funding for UK universities from the academic year 2022–23 onwards.

The REF is a process of expert review, carried out by expert panels for each of the 34 subject-based units of assessment (UOAs), under the guidance of four main panels. For each submission, three distinct elements are assessed: the quality of outputs (e.g. publications, performances, and exhibitions), their impact beyond academia, and the environment that supports research.

2. Roles being appointed:

Expert panels are made up of senior academics, international members, and research users. In this second wave of nominations, these are the roles for which nominations are invited:

Sub-panel members who will predominantly be practising researchers of suitable personal standing. Collectively they will have appropriate research breadth and carry the confidence of the community. They will also include some members from the private, public or third sectors with expertise in commissioning, applying or using research.

Output assessors who will predominantly be practising researchers with specific expertise, who will contribute to the assessment of research outputs.

Impact assessors who will predominantly be individuals with professional experience of making use of, applying or benefitting from academic research. They will contribute to assessment of the elements of submissions relating to the impact of research. Find out more about the role of impact assessors and the benefits for research users in taking part in REF.

Specialist advisers who can provide expertise where there are particular gaps in language skills or expertise in sub-panels. Specialist advisers will provide specialist advice on particular outputs.

Please see here for more details about the roles.

3. Equality and Diversity:

Higher education funding bodies recognise that diversity of perspective and experience contributes fundamental insight and value to the work of the REF panels, and that this insight and value come not only from academic achievements but also from other aspects of panel members’ lives.

The Nutrition Society is committed to supporting diversity and inclusion, sharing the funding bodies’ vision for the same. The Society encourages and welcomes expression of interest from under-represented groups, including: women, people from black and minority ethnic backgrounds, neurodiverse people, LGBT+ people, and people with disabilities; in addition to people from a diverse range of backgrounds, seniority levels, institution types and geographical regions.

Please do consider that given known barriers to career progression in certain under-represented groups, applicants may have the right experience without having attained the usual markers of seniority.

4. Expertise:

Each sub-panel has identified its requirements for further sub-panel members and / or assessors, to ensure each has an appropriate breadth of expertise and volume of panel members necessary for the assessment of REF submissions.

A table is provided for each sub-panel, setting out the specific areas of expertise in which nominations are sought, according to the type of panel roles required. Please consider applying if your profile and expertise matches the expertise requirements.

5. Time commitment:

It is required for nominees to be available to attend the relevant panel meetings. Before putting your name forward the Society would kindly ask you to take a look at the REF 2021 meeting dates and confirm that you are available on those dates. 
Please consider that in light of REF panels D&I policy, reasonable adjustmentscan be made in relation to panel meetings to provide encouragement for individuals with a disability or caring responsibilities.

Thank you for your interest in REF 2021 – please send your application to by midnight on Monday 30 March 2020.