Investigation excellence framework 2014: the postmortem – live chat

Conversations about the investigation excellence framework (REF) tend to generate eyeball rolling, lengthy sighs, and a sense of uneasiness.

The Uk government distributes £1.6bn of public money in analysis funding, so it’s inevitable that there will be some type of mechanism for assessing the good quality of investigation in United kingdom universities. But the choice to exchange the RAE with the REF in 2008 – which noticed the inclusion of measuring the influence of investigation – was met with heavy criticism from academics.

Some of the important worries, are:

  • It is not fit for objective
  • It costs as well a lot – over the previous six many years, £47m was invested within universities and a further £12m in Hefce’s administrative expenses – most of it taxpayers’ funds
  • It discourages innovation – “straightjacket set of initiatives that you must fit into” tends to make it particularly hard for interdisciplinary researchers to submit their investigation
  • That academics have been unfairly excluded from the REF, which in turn has damaged personnel morale
  • It has designed an atmosphere of competitiveness and bullying

Derek Sayer, professor of background at Lancaster University, and author of Rank Hypocrisies: The Insult of the REF, believes it’s time for the REF to be replaced by some thing whose “costs are more proportionate to its positive aspects each for the universities and the taxpayer”.

Is the REF divisive and flawed as an evaluation program? Does it reflect the core values of the academy?

This Friday, following the publication of the REF final results on 18 December, we’ll deliver together a group of academics and research evaluation professionals to discuss the approach to date – and what to count on next.

Here’s what we plan to go over:

  • Positive aspects and issues of the REF
  • Substitute ways to assess study
  • What following right after the REF?

The discussion is open to all and we inspire you to post inquiries and share your experience of the REF. Join us this Friday, 19 December, from 12-2pm GMT in the feedback part under, for what’s anticipated to be a heated debate. Develop a Guardian comment account to take part.

  • Dennis Leech, Emeritus professor of economics, Warwick University
  • Professor Claire Warwick, pro vice-chancellor for research, Durham University
  • Derek Sayer, professor of background, Lancaster University, and writer of Rank Hypocrisies: The Insult of the REF
  • Ian Walmsley, professor of experimental physics and pro vice-chancellor (research, university collections), University of Oxford
  • Graeme Rosenberg, REF manager, Hefce
  • Steven Hill, head of study policy, Hefce
  • Peter Murph, professor of arts and society, James Cook University, Australia
  • Ralph Kenna, professor of theoretical physics, Coventry University,
    who lately published a paper that predicted the REF final results making use of a metric technique
  • Manya Buchan pure solution manager study assessment, Elsevier

Enter the Guardian university awards 2015 and join the increased training network for a lot more comment, evaluation and task options, direct to your inbox. Comply with us on Twitter @gdnhighered

Leave a Reply