HEIs are required to submit all eligible staff with significant responsibility for research to REF2021. Employees of the departmental university can find out if they have been identified as eligible staff with significant responsibility for research using Employee Self-Service. This system will be updated in phases across 2020 to show the REF-related data that is to be returned to the Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA) for each employee. Data for staff in post at the start of Michaelmas term (whose contract records were extracted from the University Personnel system CoreHR on 28 October 2019) will be available from 10 February 2020. College-only staff, who do not have access to this system, will be informed by their college’s Senior Tutor.
The appeals process
The appeals process is a two-step procedure in which you firstly request feedback on the decision that was made in relation to your eligibility status for REF2021 and then if in the light of that information you wish to proceed, there is a formal appeal stage.
To request feedback on why you were considered ineligible for submission to the REF2021 exercise, please complete the form and submit it to the REF Programme Manager via firstname.lastname@example.org.
You will be sent details of how your HR record maps on to REF2021 eligibility criteria defined by the REF funding bodies and the University’s Code of practice.
If, in the light of the feedback, you wish to proceed to appeal, you must notify the REF Programme Manager (email@example.com), using the form provided with your feedback. This notification is required within two weeks of you receiving the written feedback. The REF Programme Manager will then refer the case to the REF Eligibility Appeals Committee to be reviewed. The REF Eligibility Appeals Committee will meet in May, August and November 2020, and on other occasions as may be necessary to review appeals cases.
The REF Eligibility Appeals Committee will carefully review your appeal, liaising with the relevant Main Panel Board and REF Project Board as necessary. You will be kept informed about when the committee will be meeting to consider your appeal and the outcome will be communicated to you by the REF Programme Manager once a decision has been made.
Deadlines for requesting feedback
Eligibility decisions for REF2021 are being made in designated phases across 2019/2020, to allow for staff changes, particularly new staff coming into post, in the run up to 31 July 2020, the national REF2021 census date. Unless there have been substantial changes to your role (for example a new contract or grant funding), or your personal circumstances have significantly constrained your ability to appeal (for example long-term leave) your opportunity to appeal against an eligibility decision is limited to the phase in which your eligibility is determined.
The time frame for making an appeal following confirmation of eligibility will, by necessity, reduce for later phases, due to requirements related to completing the University’s REF2021 submission and filing affiliated data such as the 2019/20 HESA staff return. How long you have to appeal will be made clear at the point at which your REF eligibility is first confirmed:
Phase 1: Staff with contract records extracted from CoreHR on 28 October 2019
Confirmation of eligibility status: on/after 10 February 2020
Deadline for making request for feedback: 8 April 2020
Phase 2: Staff with contract records extracted from CoreHR on 24 April 2020 not included in phase 1
Confirmation of eligibility status: on/after 8 July 2020
Deadline for making request for feedback: 27 July 2020
Phase 3: Staff with contract records extracted from CoreHR on 31 July 2020 (REF 2021 census date) not included in phase 1 or 2
Confirmation of eligibility status: on/after 12 October 2020
Deadline for making request for feedback: 28 October 2020
Staff on long-term leave (including sick leave and parental leave) should contact the REF Programme Manager (firstname.lastname@example.org) as soon as possible if they would like feedback or wish to make an appeal.