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REF2021 Impact Case Studies

Privacy Notice for REF2021 Impact Case Studies

This Privacy Notice is for any non-staff member providing information for use by the University of Reading as part of its REF2021 Impact Case Studies. This applies to all information which may be personal in nature. 


The Research Excellence Framework

The REF is the system for assessing the quality of research in UK higher education institutions undertaken by Research England ( 

The REF is a process of expert review, carried out by expert panels for each of the 34 subject-based units of assessment (UOAs), under the guidance of four main panels. Expert panels are made up of senior academics, international members, and research users assess each UOAs publications, research environment and impact case studies.

A REF Impact case study (ICS) is a narrative which describes how research, conducted during a specific time-frame at a named institution, resulted in a change, had an effect on or benefited culture, the economy, the environment, health, public policy, quality of life or society.

The information submitted to REF2021 will be used for the purposes of scoring the ICS through a process of expert review. The information may be shared with organisations to inform the distribution of public funds for research and to carry out their statutory functions. The information may also be used to analyse and monitor the REF2021 submission and may be provided to a third party for analysis in work commissioned by Research England. REF ICS will be made publicly available.

The information provided by a non-staff member to support an ICS will be used by the University of Reading to develop the ICS for submission to REF2021. 

Privacy Notice 

Information provided by a third party may be included in the ICS narrative and may include textual information in which you are referenced. Personal data is commonly limited to name and job title only. Other personal details will not normally be submitted to REF2021.

The University of Reading will hold any personal information provided in accordance with its obligations under the GDPR and Data Protection Act 2018 and that more information regarding their data rights can be found here

Once submitted to UKRI any personal data use will be subject to the Privacy Notice and associated GDPR policies issued by UKRI (Privacy notice - REF 2021).