Tagged / ref mock

Handing over the BU REF baton

Well, the day has finally come when I’m to hand over the BU REF baton to Peng Peng Ooi who is to take over as the BU Research Development Officer for the REF while I am on maternity leave. She’s had a crash course in all things REF since she began at the RDU in July and has very much landed in at the deep end because of the mock REF exercise on outputs that’s currently taking place!

This hasn’t put her off though, and she’s poised ready to take things forward in the coming months prior to the REF submission deadline in November 2013.

It just remains to wish you all the very best with your submissions and to thank you for your cooperation with the REF preparations so far. Don’t forget to keep an eye on the blog for all BU REF-related information. See you next year!

Anita Somner

Research Development Officer (REF)

BU summer mock REF exercise gets underway

The fourth in a series of mock Research Excellence Framework (REF) exercises is currently underway at BU, with the paperwork now on its way to the external reviewers who have been specially recruited for their expertise in their subject area. The reviewers will spend the next month or so going through all the forms and submitted outputs and will provide feedback on each submission.

After reviewing the forms, the reviewers will also be involved in a meeting involving the BU Unit of Assessment (UOA) Leader and three or four nominated BU academics from each UOA to discuss the submissions and the feedback given. These meetings are due to take place during the early autumn. Once all the review meetings have taken place, the reviewers’ comments and the outcomes from the meetings will be compiled – this information will then be fed back to academics by the relevant UOA Leaders to help in the further development of the REF submissions.

The next (and final) REF mock exercise is due to take place during February to April 2013; it will be a full dry run and will be the last chance for you to receive external feedback on your outputs before the final REF submission deadline on 29th November 2013.

In the meantime, I’d like to thank all the BU academics who have been involved in the current mock exercise for taking part and for responding promptly to any queries. Thanks also to the UOA Leaders for collating the information and submitting it on time, particularly as the deadlines were quite tight. Your joint cooperation is much appreciated!

For all previous REF postings on the BU Research Blog, click here.

Limber up for the next BU mock REF exercise

Just as the Olympic athletes are getting set for the 2012 games, so are we gearing up to launch the summer 2012 mock REF exercise for BU academic staff, this time looking at research outputs. This follows on from our previous light-touch review exercise, which was open to all academic staff and took place over the winter of 2010/2011.

This latest exercise will be the fourth in a series of different preparation exercises that have been held or are due to take place at BU ahead of the REF2014 submission deadline on 29 November 2013. Just as the athletes will have taken part in warm-up events and qualifiers to test their fitness and shine before selectors, so the mock REF exercises are a useful ‘dry run’ to give you a feel for what’s going to be required for the real thing. Equally, you’ll get valuable feedback on your outputs from external reviewers and your UOA Leader, and it will enable us to test out our data collection processes.

As in the light touch review, the outputs mock will be open to all academic staff. The relevant form will be distributed via your UOA leader in due course so it would be a good time to start thinking about which outputs you’re likely to put forward. Although REF2014 requires a maximum of four outputs, we’re giving you the opportunity to get feedback from the reviewers on up to six outputs, so make the most of this chance to really shape your outputs submission.

Also under starter’s orders – the BU REF Code of Practice will shortly be circulated to all staff, which outlines the timetable of REF preparation exercises and includes a host of other useful information related to how BU is preparing for REF2014. The final draft of this document has just been submitted to the REF Team for formal approval so watch this space for more information about this.

If you need any more information about the REF, have a look at all the previous blog posts that we’ve included here, or visit the new-look REF website. Alternatively, you can contact myself or Julie Northam in the Research Development Unit, or leave a comment below.

REF week on the Blog! Mock exercises prior to submission

This week is REF Week on the Blog! Each day we will be explaining a different element of the Research Excellence Framework (REF) as a quick reference guide to help you prepare for the forthcoming REF exercise – REF2014.

BU will undertake a series of mock exercises as part of the internal preparations for the REF

The Light-Touch Review – BU’s first REF preparation exercise was the Light-Touch Review which took place during autumn/winter 2010-11. All academic staff were invited to submit up to four outputs (published since 1 January 2008) and an impact summary to a panel of external expert reviewers. In addition, REF UOA Leaders provided the external reviewers with a summary of the unit of assessment (UOA) as a whole.

This first exercise was considered to be a ‘light touch’ review as the external reviewers were not asked to look in detail at each output but to provide general comments about an individual’s research profile and an overview assessment of the UOA as a whole.

Mini-mock for two UOAs – in spring/summer 2011 BU undertook an external review exercise for two UOAs to help further define and shape the submissions, especially around the notion of disciplinary fit.

Winter mock 2011 – the preparation for the winter mock exercise is currently taking place. This will not be a mock exercise of outputs but of narratives. The UOA Leaders are currently drafting impact case studies, impact statements and environment statements which will be submitted to a panel of external expert reviewers in early December.

Future mock exercises – we are planning to hold a second outputs mock (open to all eligible staff) in spring/summer 2012, and a final mock exercise in spring/summer 2013 focusing on all assessment elements (outputs, impact and environment).

Details of all upcoming mock exercises will be made available via the Blog in due course.

You can access the latest presentation about the REF, written by the REF team, here: REF slide pack Sep 2011

Check out the posts appearing on the Blog every day this week as part of REF Week!

REF update from the VC and PVC

In the latest Vice-Chancellor’s email, Prof John Vinney gave an update on the Research Excellence Framework (REF) and BU’s preparations for the exercise. The email also introduced this month’s VC video in which he and Prof Matthew Bennett discuss the REF in more detail – and what it means for BU – with Sue Eccles from the Media School.

You can watch the video here:


BU REF preparations – next mock exercise underway

Hot on the heels of our REF light-touch review of outputs last winter, our subsequent mini-mock exercise in two UOAs, and the release of the final REF Guidance on Submissions and draft panel criteria documentation, BU’s next mock REF exercise is now underway.

The BU winter 2011 mock will concentrate solely on the impact and environment elements of the submissions (i.e. individual outputs will not be reviewed). During the autumn term BU Unit of Assessment (UOA) Leaders have been asked to produce 2-3 impact case studies, an impact statement and an environment statement for each UOA. These will be sent to the external reviewers (at least 2 per UOA) in early December, and feedback will be shared with the UOA Leaders in February 2012.

The next review of outputs is planned for spring 2012.

These mock exercises are intended to shape and craft our submissions to REF2014 to ensure we put forward the strongest submissions possible.

If you have any questions or suggestions regarding our internal preparations for the REF then send me an email 🙂