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Research Excellence Framework 2021

View BU's REF 2014 submission

REF 2021

BU’s REF2021 submission

BU made a submission to the Research Excellence Framework (REF) 2021 in March 2021. The submission represents a significant achievement, involving many staff across the University over a seven year period. Congratulations to all colleagues who have worked so hard and contributed to our REF2021 submission.

Since the last submission to REF2014, BU’s research capacity has grown substantially. We submitted 29% of eligible staff to REF2014 and are proud to have submitted 76% of eligible staff to REF2021. represents the growth in volume and quality of research across the University as well as the inclusive nature of our approach. During this time, we have also grown the breadth of our research, making submissions to 13 units of assessment in REF2021, compared to 8 units of assessment in REF2014, with new submissions including English Language & Literature, Law and Social Work & Social Policy. The submission represents a substantial increase in research volume and excellence being undertaken at BU since REF2014 and is an incredible achievement for all.

Equality, diversity and inclusivity have been a key driver for the REF preparations, shaping and influencing decisions at every stage. We are delighted that the equality profile of the submission is much more representative of our academic community than in REF2014. Of particular note, the gap between the proportion of men and women submitted has decreased from 15% in REF2014 to 5.6% in REF2021, with women being only slightly less likely to be submitted. Compared to REF2014, the number of men submitted to REF2021 increased by 174%, whilst the number of women submitted increased by 325%.

Preparation for submission has been a substantial team effort, spanning the whole University. However, particular note should be given to the UOA Leadership Teams consisting of UOA Leads, Impact and Output Champions and the Research Development and Support (RDS) REF Team who brought the submission together and ensured adherence to our BU REF2021 Code of Practice.

Of course, contributions go much further than this. Each member of staff who has contributed to an impact case study, produced a research output, mentored a colleague, supervised a doctoral student, led a research project, and/or taken on additional duties to enable a colleague to undertake research, has contributed to the submission. In addition, numerous colleagues from Professional Services have been involved in checking and preparing data for the submission, sourcing outputs, and advising on guidance and content.

The REF results will be available in spring 2022.

About REF2021

The Research Excellence Framework is the UK's system for assessing the quality of research in UK universities. The results of each REF exercise are used by Research England to determine the amount of annual quality related (QR) research allocated to each university. QR funding plays an invaluable role in higher education as it enables universities to invest in new areas of research, new facilities and training and development to support their researchers.

Bournemouth University submitted its REF return in March 2021.  Results will be published in 2022.

Code of practice

As part of the REF 2021 exercise, each university must develop a Code of Practice which outlines how they will identify which staff have responsibility for research, who is classed as an independent researcher and how outputs will be selected for submission.

BU's Code of Practice was accepted by Research England November 2019. In October 2020, the Code of Practice was revised to to accommodate national changes to the REF exercise. It can be downloaded here.

Privacy statement for staff

The Data Protection Act 2018 and the GDPR require institutions to inform their staff and other stakeholders as to how data about them that are submitted to the REF will be used.

The notice below applies to current staff of Bournemouth University (BU) and to former BU staff of BU where we have included you in our REF submission in relation to outputs produced during your time at BU.  It can be downloaded in full here.

Privacy statement for members of the public

The notice below applies to you because Bournemouth University (BU) may be including some information about you in our submission to the Research Excellence Framework (REF) 2021. It can be downloaded in full here.