How Research England supports research excellence

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Future Research Assessment Programme

The Future Research Assessment Programme has been initiated at the request of UK and devolved government ministers and funding bodies.

This significant piece of work will be led by the four UK higher education funding bodies:

  • Research England
  • Scottish Funding Council
  • Higher Education Funding Council for Wales
  • Department for the Economy, NI.

It aims to explore possible approaches to the assessment of UK higher education research performance.

Through dialogue with the higher education sector, the programme seeks to understand what a healthy, thriving research system looks like and how an assessment model can best form its foundation.

The work strands include evaluating the REF 2021, understanding international research assessment practice, and well investigating possible evaluation models and approaches, to identify those that can encourage and strengthen the emphasis on delivering excellent research and impact, and support a positive research culture, while simplifying and reducing the administrative burden on the HE sector.

This programme of work is expected to conclude by late 2022.

International advisory group

An international advisory group has been set up to advise the funding bodies in their evaluation and consultation activities.

Read its draft terms of reference.

International advisory group members

  • Sir Peter Gluckman – Chair – President-Elect, International Science Council, New Zealand
  • Dr Lidia Borrell-Damián – Secretary General, Science Europe
  • Dr Chonnettia Jones – Vice President, Research, Michael Smith Foundation for Health Research
  • Professor Erika Kraemer-Mbula – Professor of Economics and Chairholder, DST/NRF/Newton Fund Trilateral Chair of Transformative Innovation, the 4th Industrial Revolution and Sustainable Development, College of Business and Economics, University of Johannesburg
  • Professor Jane Ohlmeyer – Erasmus Smith’s Professor of Modern History (1762), Trinity College Dublin and Chair of the Irish Research Council
  • Dr David Phipps – Assistant VP Research Strategy & Impact, York University and Director of Research Impact Canada
  • Dr Kirsty Salmon – VP advanced bio & physical sciences for low carbon energy, BP
  • Professor Sue Thomas – Chief Executive Officer, Australian Research Council.

Programme Board

A programme board made up of senior representatives from the four funding bodies will have oversight over this bold and ambitious programme.

Read the terms of reference.

Last updated: 10 January 2022

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