Westminster Higher Education Forum

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Next steps for the Research Excellence Framework

Morning, Friday, 11th March 2022

This conference will be a timely opportunity to discuss the ongoing review of the REF, looking at the objectives, processes, and priorities for research evaluation in the UK.

It is taking place during the outreach and engagement phase of the future research assessment programme (FRAP), and the discussion will consider wider developments in research assessment, including the impact of the new UKRI open access policy and ongoing efforts to reduce bureaucracy and administration in research funding and assessment.

We also expect discussion to reflect the issues being considered in the Nurse and Tickell reviews into the research ecosystem and research bureaucracy, and implications for the REF going forward.

We are pleased to be able to include keynote sessions with Dr Dr Steven Hill, Director of Research, Research England; and Susan Guthrie, Research Group Director, Science and Emerging Technology, RAND Europe. Chairing is Professor the Lord Krebs, Emeritus Professor of Zoology, University of Oxford.

Overall, the agenda is structured to bring out latest thinking on:

  • progress with the FRAP and what next for the REF
  • what can be learned from first-hand experiences with REF 2021
  • the definition of research excellence and recognising alternative outputs
  • what is needed for assessment and how best to measure impact and promote societal contribution
  • priorities for open research and open access
  • research assessment internationally and what can be learned from best practice

The conference is bringing together stakeholders with key policy officials who are due to attend from BEIS; the Department for the Economy, NI; the DfT; the DHSC; the IPO; and The Scottish Government.

Keynote Speakers

Dr Steven Hill

Director of Research, Research England

Dr Susan Guthrie

Research Group Director, Science and Emerging Technology, RAND Europe

Keynote Speakers

Dr Susan Guthrie

Research Group Director, Science and Emerging Technology, RAND Europe

Dr Steven Hill

Director of Research, Research England


Professor the Lord Krebs

Emeritus Professor of Zoology, University of Oxford


Professor Gunnar Sivertsen

Research Professor, Nordic Institute for Studies in Innovation, Research and Education

Professor Simon Hettrick

Deputy Director, Software Sustainability Institute; and Director, Southampton Research Software Group, University of Southampton

Professor Robert MacIntosh

Pro Vice-Chancellor, Faculty of Business and Law, Northumbria University

Dr Elizabeth Gadd

Research Policy Manager (Publications), Loughborough University; and Head of Research Operations, University of Glasgow

Dr Catriona Manville

Director, Policy and Public Affairs, Association of Medical Research Charities

Dr Kate Williams

Lecturer in Public Policy, School of Social and Political Sciences, University of Melbourne

Professor James Wilsdon

Director, Research on Research Institute, University of Sheffield

Sean Newell

CEO, Interfolio UK

Anna Severin

Doctoral Researcher, University of Bern

Alex Wright

Head of Humanities and Senior Executive Publisher, Cambridge University Press