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Equality and diversity in the REF

The UK funding bodies are committed to supporting and promoting equality and diversity in research careers.

Equality and Diversity Advisory Panel (EDAP)

EDAP was established to advise the funding bodies, the REF team and the REF panels on the implementation of equality measures in the REF.

EDAP reviewed institutions' codes of practice on the selection of staff and produced a report of good practice found in the codes.

At the end of the exercise EDAP produced a final report on the equality and diversity aspects of the REF.

Equality and diversity policies and procedures

The REF team implemented a number of equality measures to assist the funding bodies in taking forward their committment to equality and diversity:

  • Panel criteria. The 'Equality briefing for REF panels' was provided to panels for use in developing their criteria and working methods.
  • Individual staff circumstances. 'Panel criteria and working methods' sets out the arrangements for enabling staff whose circumstances had constrained their ability to work productively throughout the assessment period, to be returned with fewer than four outputs without penalty in the assessment. 
  • Codes of practice. 'Guidance on submissions' sets out requirements for institutions to develop, document and apply a code of practice on the fair and transparent selection of staff for their REF submissions. Institutions submitted their codes of practice for EDAP to review, and these have been published on the REF website.
  • Assessment criteria. In assessing the research environment element of submissions, the REF panels considered how the submitted unit promotes equality and diversity.
  • Analysis of staff selection. The selection rates of staff for the REF will be analysed at sector level.

The equality measures for the REF were developed in consultation with the REF Equality and Diversity Advisory Group. See background for further information.