Governance & Strategic Planning


The Research Excellence Framework (REF) is the system used to assess the quality of research in UK HEIs. Submissions for the next REF will close in November 2020. REF2021 results will be published in December 2021. The results of REF2021 will provide information about the quality of a university's research and are expected to inform research funding.

REF2021, the next REF exercise, is considered by the UK's four funding bodies for Higher Education to have a threefold purpose:

  • To provide accountability for public investment in research and produce evidence of the benefits of this investment
  • To provide benchmarking information and establish reputational yardsticks for use within the HE sector and for public information
  • To inform the selective allocation of funding for research


University of Edinburgh REF2021 Intranet

The University's REF2021 intranet will provide advice and support to help staff in College Offices and Units of Assessment (UoAs) in the task of preparing their REF2021 submission. 

UoE REF2021 Intranet

You will need to already be logged into MyEd using your Staff Username and password to view the UoE REF2021 internet.

REF2021 consultation

The four Higher Education Funding Bodies have set out proposals for the second REF and have invited views from Higher Education Institutes and other organisations with an interest in the conduct, quality, funding or use of research. The proposals are set out in a consultation document and seek to build on REF2014 and to incorporate the principles identified in Lord Stern's Independent Review of the REF.

Joint Funding bodies Consultation document

Lord Stern's Review of the REF 'Building on success and learning from experience'