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Thursday, 16 Nov 2017

Would you like to get involved with REF 2021?

What is the REF?

The REF is the system for assessing the quality and impact of research in UK higher education institutions (HEIs). It was first conducted in 2014, and replaced the Research Assessment Exercise (RAE). The REF will be undertaken by the four UK higher education funding bodies: the Higher Education Funding Council for England, the Scottish Funding Council, the Higher Education Funding Council for Wales, and the Department for the Economy, Northern Ireland.

The REF exercise will be completed in 2021 and the results will be used by the four funding bodies to drive their allocations of research funding to HEIs. It will also provide useful benchmarking information and reputational yardsticks, and provide accountability for public investment in research and demonstrate its benefits.

The REF will be undertaken through a process of expert review. HEIs will be invited to make submissions which will be assessed by 34 subject-based expert sub-panels, working under the guidance of four main panels. Further information can be found here: and

You are also welcome to contact Kevin Glazebrook or Tom Archibald, who have been involved previously and are happy to discuss their experience with anyone seeking further information about serving on the Mathematical Sciences sub-panel ( or the Business and Management sub-panel (

ORS Nominating Main Panel and Sub-Panel Members

The Operational Research Society has been invited to nominate candidates to be panel members. We welcome applications from individuals with expertise in all aspects of operational research. We are seeking candidates from a diverse range of backgrounds, institution types and geographical regions. We particularly welcome candidates from groups previously under-represented on assessment panels, including women, people from black and ethnic minority backgrounds, and disabled people.

We are able to make nominations for the following:

  • Additional main panel members (with expertise in leading, commissioning or making use of interdisciplinary research, leading research internationally, or senior level experience in the commissioning, use or wider benefits of research)
  • Sub-panel members and assessors (including practising researchers, individuals with expertise in commissioning, applying or making use of research, and interdisciplinary advisers)

ORS Nomination Process

If you would like to be considered for nomination, please complete a REF 2021 Panel Nomination Application Formand send it with a short CV of no more than 2 A4 sides to by midday Thursday 30th November 2017. The Operational Research Society’s Selection Panel will then review all applications and submit nominations to the REF bodies. You will be notified of the Operational Research Society’s Selection Panel’s decision about your nomination by 20th December 2017. The REF bodies will then contact successful candidates in early 2018.

We are aware that many practising researchers in the OR area are not members of the Society. Please draw the attention of this call to any of your colleagues who may not otherwise have received it.

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