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REF 2021: Personal Circumstances and Update in submission

REF 2021

In July 2020 the funding bodies announced that the new submission date for the REF will be 31 March 2021. The funding bodies have put in place a set of mitigating actions to take account of the impact of COVID-19, while ensuring that the robustness of the assessment is maintained and the principles of equality, equity and transparency continue to be adhered to. Detailed measures and FAQs are available in the REF 2021 website.

Personal Circumstances

We want to ensure that all colleagues who may have been affected by personal circumstances impacting on their ability to research productively over the REF period have an opportunity to declare these circumstances so that they can be taken into account both at personal and UOA level.

Personal circumstances affecting your research during the REF period, including, in certain cases, those arising over the COVID period, can be declared at any point before 30 September 2020. Information on allowed circumstances, including those related to COVID and how to declare them has been sent to all REF-eligible staff. Examples of personal circumstances and general FAQs are available in the internal REF 2021 webpages .

If you have questions, you can also join at one of the two Circumstances Q&A online sessions arranged for 10 and 17 September. If you would like to join, please RSPV through this form.

For further information, please contact

REF Submission timeline

We intend to finalise the bulk of our submission, including outputs pool and impact case studies, by January 2021. A summary timetable can be found in the internal REF 2021 webpages.

Your support during this final phase of preparations will be crucial to the UOA Leads and REF Planning Group in order to return the best submission possible. In particular, we ask that you to continue to:

  • Update outputs in ROSS and support RDLs and UOA Leads in the ongoing internal peer review processes
  • Regularly review your REF-candidate output pool. If you require changes in your set of REF-candidate outputs, please contact
  • Provide information requested by UOA Leads with regards to outputs, particularly those affected by COVID.
  • Work, together with the impact team and UOA Leads, on finalising impact case studies
  • Provide information and support to UOA Leads as they finalise environment statements.

Thank you for your help during the final stage of the REF submission.


Dominik Zaum

Pro-Vice-Chancellor, Research & Innovation


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