Evaluating quality; understanding policy

The Research Environment and Policy team lead on REF and knowledge exchange evaluation (KEF and KEC) and monitor and analyse the developing UK Research Policy landscape.

External evaluation of our activities: REF and KEF

As well as facilitating the delivery of high quality Research and Knowledge Exchange through the College Hubs and the Business Engagement and Research Impact team, we have a lead role in co-ordinating the University’s submissions to the REF (Research Excellence Framework) and KEF (Knowledge Exchange Framework) and analysing the outcomes.

Management of REF

The Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Research has delegated authority from the Vice-Chancellor to oversee the preparation of the REF submission, working with Colleges through REF Board. Professional Services support for the REF is drawn from across many different divisions and is overseen by the REF Professional Services Working Group, chaired by the Director, RSSD.

REF rules and requirements

The Research Environment and Policy team provide advice and guidance on the REF rules and requirements as they are published, and also advise on internal and external processes related to the submission. For guidance, you can contact us here.

Knowledge Exchange Framework (KEF) and Knowledge Exchange Concordat (KEC)

KEC is the University’s action plan for delivering high quality knowledge exchange activity, whilst the KEF serves as a periodic check on how well we are doing compared with our (England-based) comparator group. 

The University’s return to the KEF is driven partly by data submitted to the Higher Education Business and Community Interaction survey run by HESA, partly by data drawn from other sources, and partly by written narratives covering the Institutional Context, Local Growth and Regeneration, and Public and Community Engagement.  The process is run annually, and oversight of the development of the narratives sits with the University Engagement and Impact Committee (UEIC), co-chaired by the PVC and Head of the College of Social Sciences, Professor Richard Black, in his role as UEB lead for the Engagement and Impact strand of the Strategic Framework, and the DPVC (Research Impact), Professor Dominique Moran.

Policy analysis

The Research Environment and Policy Team also provide short analyses of key research policy developments, for internal bodies such as Research Committee. 


Professional Services