skip to content

Faculty of Philosophy


The Research Excellence Framework (REF) is the UK's system for assessing the excellence of research in higher education institutions. It informs the selective allocation of funding for the research priorities of the University and support of key institutional initiatives (which equates to approximately £1.6 billion per year). The importance of the REF to the financial sustainability of the University should not therefore be underestimated.

The REF is a process of expert review, carried out by panels made up of senior academics, international members, and research users for each of the 34 subject-based units of assessment (UOAs). Assessments take place every 6 years and submissions for the next one are due in November 2020. Each submission will have three distinct elements that are assessed: the quality of outputs (e.g. publications, performances, and exhibitions), their impact beyond academia, and the environment that supports research.

For REF2021 the Faculty of Philosophy and the Department of History and Philosophy of Science and will be making a submission to UOA30. As part of the preparations for the submission we are required to develop a Code of Practice that frames the decision-making processes within the context of the principles of equality and diversity and all relevant legislation. It details the key policy decisions on:

  • the fair and transparent identification of staff with significant responsibility for research
  • determining who is an independent researcher
  • the selection of outputs.

We invite feedback on the Code of Practice and Criteria and Working Methods from all researchers and research support staff across the collegiate University. The consultation will be open until midnight on 25 March 2019:

REF2021 Consultation on Code of Practice

Feedback received via the consultation that is consistent with the guidelines and the principles of transparency, inclusivity, consistency and accountability will be incorporated into the Code of Practice that will be submitted to Research England for approval in June.

REF2021 Unit of Assessment 30 – Philosophy and History & Philosophy of Science: Criteria and Working Methods