The University is currently preparing to take part in the first Research Excellence Framework (REF) assessment, which is a national exercise to assess the quality of research in UK higher education institutions.
As part of this preparation, all REF eligible staff have been encouraged to disclose individual circumstances to HR (please refer to previous ‘REF’ blogposts for more information). The first round of data collection closed in October 2012 and the next round of data collection is due to take place in May 2013.
To help you to decide if you qualify as an early career researcher, please find below the official definition given by the REF team, extracted from the ‘Assessment framework and guidance on submissions’ document.
Early career researchers are defined as members of staff who meet the criteria to be selected as Category A or Category C staff on the census date, and who started their careers as independent researchers on or after 1 August 2009. For the purposes of the REF, an individual is deemed to have started their career as an independent researcher from the point at which:
a. They held a contract of employment of 0.2 FTE or greater, which included a primary employment function of undertaking ‘research’ or ‘teaching and research’, with any HEI or other
organisation, whether in the UK or overseas, and
b. They undertook independent research, leading or acting as principal investigator or equivalent on a research grant or significant piece of research work. (A member of staff is not deemed to have undertaken independent research purely on the basis that they are named on one or more research outputs.)
Alternatively, you can contact myself or Rita Dugan in the Research and Knowledge Exchange Development and Operations Team or leave a comment below.