Professor Quassim Cassam Appointed to the Prestigious REF 2021 Panel
The first REF was undertaken in 2014, and replaced the previous Research Assessment exercise. REF is implemented by the four UK Higher Education Funding Bodies, which consist of:
Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE)
Scottish Funding Council (SFC)
Higher Education Funding Council for Wales (HEFCW)
Department for the Economy, Northern Ireland (DfE)
Their shared objective is to secure the continuation of a 'world-class, dynamic and responsive research base across the full academic spectrum within UK Higher Education'. These four bodies appoint the members of the REF Panels, who are recruited following a competitive nominations process.
The three specific aims of the REF are:
To provide accountability for public investment in research and to produce evidence of benefits of this investment
To provide benchmarking information and to establish reputational yardsticks for use within the HE sector and for public information
To inform the selective allocation of funding for research.
REF is a process of expert review. Institutions are invited to undertake submissions in 34 units of assessment (UOAs), which are then considered by an expert Sub-Panel for each UOA, working under the guidance of four Main Panels. The Main Panels oversee the assessment process, ensuring that the assessment criteria and standards are consistently applied. They are also responsible for signing off the results recommended by the 34 Sub-Panels.
Professor Cassam is a member of Sub-Panel 30, Philosophy, which sits under Main Panel C, Social Sciences. The Criteria Phase of REF will commence this year, and will involve the development of detailed guidance and criteria required for REF 2021. The Assessment Phase will begin in late 2020 and continue into 2021.