Research Excellence Framework (REF) 2014
The Research Excellence Framework (REF) is the new system for assessing the quality of research in UK higher education institutions (HEIs). It will replace the Research Assessment Exercise (RAE) and will be completed in 2014. The REF will be undertaken by the four UK higher education funding bodies. The exercise will be managed by the REF team based at HEFCE and overseen by the REF Steering Group, consisting of representatives of the four funding bodies.
The following nurses and midwives have been appointed to sit on relevant panels
Main Panel A
- Professor Hugh McKenna - University of Ulster
Main Panel A Sub-panel 2: Public Health, Health Services and Primary Care
- Dr Sophie Staniszewska - RCN Research Institute, University of Warwick
Main Panel A Sub-panel 3: Allied Health Professions, Dentistry, Nursing and Pharmacy
- Professor Hugh McKenna - University of Ulster (Chair)
- Professor Charlotte Clarke - University of Northumbria
- Professor Jessica Corner - University of Southampton
- Professor Dawn Freshwater - University of Leeds
- Professor Billie Hunter - Swansea University
- Professor Martin Johnson - University of Salford
- Professor William Lauder - University of Stirling
- Professor Karen Luker - University of Manchester
- Professor Jackie Oldham - University of Manchester
- Professor Anne-Marie Rafferty - King's College London
- Professor Marlene Sinclair - University of Ulster
- Professor Julie Taylor - National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children
- Professor Roger Watson - University of Sheffield
Letter to RCN Research Society regional chairs and RCN Forum Steering Committees
In the, now seminal, RCN publication "Defining nursing" (RCN 2003) (PDF, 1.3MB) it states "while compassionate care is important, compassionate but ill-informed care may be harmful." It is for this very reason that we in the RCN Research Society believe that "research is every nurses business" and that is why it is important that you and your steering committee colleagues are invited to participate in this important nomination process.
One of the key sources of funding for research in the UK is via the Higher Education Funding Councils. To receive funding from these Councils, nursing, like all other disciplines, must undergo a rigorous assessment of the quality of its research outputs. This assessment was formally known as the "Research Assessment Exercise" or the "RAE" for short. The RAE was a peer review process whereby panels of eminent peers assess the quality of research within each academic discipline. This system is changing both in name and in format. The RAE is being replaced by the Research Excellence Framework (REF) and the first REF assessment will be conducted in 2014.
REF 2014 will be the seventh in a series of exercises conducted nationally to assess the quality of UK research to inform the selective distribution of public funds for research by the four UK higher education funding bodies. In 2008, academic disciplines were assessed by discipline specific sub-panels and these decisions were considered and ratified by main panels. In the 2014 REF Allied Health Professions, Dentistry, Nursing and Pharmacy will constitute sub-panel no 3 and will sit within main panel 'A' alongside Clinical Medicine (1), Public health, Health Services and primary Care (2), Psychology, Psychiatry and Neuroscience (4), Biological Sciences (5) and Agriculture, Veterinary and Food Science (6)
Like the RAE, the REF will assess 'the quality of research outputs' within each submission as well as the 'vitality of the research environment'. The former is largely based on an assessment of research publications and the latter, the numbers of research students and the quality of their experience. The main key difference between the RAE and the REF is that the REF will also assess the IMPACT of research. Essentially, this will involve assessing how high quality research has contributed to the economy, society, public policy, culture, the environment, international development or quality of life. How this will be assessed is yet to be finalised.
In 2008, as in previous RAEs, research activity undertaken by nurses was submitted by their institutions to other sub-panels. A variety of reasons determine how Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) decide they can best describe their research activity and this often relates to the inter-disciplinary nature of research in health and social care. This may happen again in 2014 and for this reason we are also considering nominating nurses to sit on other sub-panels, such as, for example, 2, 4 and 22 (see below).
As a professional organisation, the Royal College of Nursing (RCN) is recognised as a nominating body. The Research Society is leading the RCN's nomination process on behalf of the RCN and is consulting with Research Society Regional Steering Committees and National Forum Steering Committees to invite nominations for main panel membership, sub-panel membership and assessors.
Strategically, the Research Society aims to ensure that the 2014 REF panel A and relevant sub panels will best represent the interests and future direction of research within the nursing professions in the UK. To this end the Research Society believes that there should be a strong nursing contribution on the main panel and on the sub-panel. Details of units of assessment and recruitment of panel members is published in the REF 2014 publication (PDF, 373KB)
The RCN Research Society invites all Research Society regional networks and National forum steering committees to read the REF 2014 publication and complete and submit the nomination form (MS Word, 40KB).
Professor Annie Topping,
Chair RCN Research Society,
Monday, 06 September 2010
Appendix A - REF 2014 Units of assessment and panel configuration
|Ref||Unit of assessment||Broad coverage, in relation to 2008 sub-panels|
|2||Public Health, Health Services and Primary Care||Sub-panels 6-8 (Epidemiology and Public Health; Health Services Research; Primary Care and Other Community Based Clinical Subjects) which received a total of 1,202 FTE and 5,309 outputs.|
|3||Allied Health Professions, Dentistry, Nursing and Pharmacy||Sub-panels 10-13 (Dentistry; Nursing and Midwifery; Allied Health Professions and Studies; Pharmacy) which received a total of 2,939 FTE and 12,598 outputs.|
|4||Psychology, Psychiatry and Neuroscience||Sub-panels 9 and 44 (Psychiatry, Neuroscience and Clinical Psychology; Psychology) which received a total of 2,440 FTE and 10,143 outputs.|
|22||Social Work and Social Policy||Sub-panel 40 (Social Work and Social Policy & Administration) which received 1,244 FTE and 5,271 outputs.|