This form is relevant for all members of staff eligible for submission to REF 2014. Should you wish to discuss the contents of this form, please contact your REF Unit of Assessment (UOA) Leader or Judith Wilson (HR Manager) in the first instance.
Bournemouth University (BU) is committed to ensuring that decisions about selecting staff for the Research Excellence Framework (REF) are made in a fair, transparent and consistent manner. Information on how eligible staff will be selected for submission to the REF can be found in the BU REF Code of Practice, which is available on the BU Research Blog, and in the BU REF Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs), also on the Blog.
To ensure that REF processes are fair, BU is collecting data on individual circumstances from all staff eligible for submission. The data will be used to identify which staff are eligible for submission with fewer than the required four outputs. Summary level data collected may also inform the BU’s monitoring of staff selection procedures.
In determining whether eligible staff may be submitted to the REF with fewer than four research outputs, the BU REF Circumstances Board will take the following circumstances into consideration:
- Early career researcher (started career as an independent researcher on or after 1 August 2009);
- Junior clinical academic staff who have not gained a Certificate of Completion of Training by 31 October 2013;
- Part-time employment;
- Career break or secondment outside the higher education sector and in which the individual did not undertake academic research;
- Maternity leave, statutory adoption leave, and additional paternity leave (taken by partners of new mothers or co-adopters);
- Disability (including conditions such as cancer and chronic fatigue);
- Ill health or injury;
- Mental health conditions;
- Constraints relating to pregnancy, maternity, breastfeeding, adoption, paternity or childcare in addition to periods of maternity, statutory adoption or additional paternity leave taken. This could include, for example, pregnancy-related illness and health and safety restrictions in laboratory and field work;
- Other caring responsibilities (including caring for an elderly or disabled relative);
- Gender reassignment.
If your research output has been affected by other circumstances that are not listed above (except teaching and administration commitments), please provide details on this form because they may be considered.
In determining the number of outputs staff are required to submit, BU will observe the definitions of individual staff circumstances provided in the REF Panel Criteria and Working Methods document, pp.9-13.
What action do I need to take?
If you are eligible for REF submission (see section 3.1 of the BU REF 2014 Code of Practice and ‘Staff eligibility’ in the BU REF FAQs), you are encouraged to complete the disclosure form. If further information is required about any circumstances disclosed, you will be contacted by a member of the HR team involved in the REF. You should print out, sign and return your completed form marked ‘REF Confidential’ to Judith Wilson, HR Manager, M601, Melbury House, 1-3 Oxford Road, Bournemouth, BH8 8ES. The deadline for the first data collection exercise was 31 October 2012. The second round of data collection will be carried out in 2013.
Who will see the information that I provide?
Within BU, the information that you provide will be seen by the BU REF Circumstances Board (consisting of a HR manager, two senior BU academics and the BU Equality and Diversity Adviser – see section 2.1.3 of the BU REF 2014 Code of Practice), two contacts in HR, the Head of the Research and Knowledge Exchange Office and the Research Development Officer (REF). In line with the Data Protection Act 1998, all data will be stored and treated securely and confidentially (for more details, see section 5.2.1 of the BU REF 2014 Code of Practice).
Information provided on the form may also be shared externally for the purposes of evidencing any reduction in the number of research outputs:
- For circumstances with a clearly defined reduction in outputs (see pars 69a and 70-87, Panel Criteria and Working Methods), information will be seen by the relevant REF sub-panel, the REF panel secretariat and the UK funding bodies’ REF Team. This will be information about early career researcher status, part-time working, career breaks or secondments, and periods of maternity, additional paternity or adoption leave taken.
- For more complex circumstances (see pars 69b and 88-91, Panel Criteria and Working Methods), information will be seen only by the REF Equality and Diversity Advisory Panel, the REF Main Panel Chairs and the UK funding bodies’ REF Team. This will be information to explain the impact on your research of circumstances such as disability, ill health, injury, mental health conditions, gender reassignment, caring responsibilities or constraints relating to pregnancy, maternity, breastfeeding, adoption and paternity (in addition to the period of leave taken). This information will not be seen by the REF sub-panel members.
All REF panel members, chairs and secretaries are bound by confidentiality requirements, and acceptance of these confidentiality requirements is a condition of their appointment to the role. No information relating to identifiable individuals’ circumstances will be published by the REF Team. All data collected, stored and processed by the REF Team will be handled in accordance with the Data Protection Act 1998.
Should a joint submission be made between BU and another higher education institution thereby requiring information to be shared, please be assured that the REF Assessment Framework and Guidance on Submissions requires all institutions participating in the REF to ensure appropriate confidentiality in handling individual staff circumstances.
What if my circumstances change?
BU recognises that staff circumstances may change between 1 January 2008 and 31 October 2013. If your circumstances do change, you can download a copy of the form here or by emailing: REFcircumstances@bournemouth.ac.uk. Relevant staff will also be formally reminded to update their information prior to the final REF submission in 2013.