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The impact of gender on self-selection and representation in the Research Excellence Framework 2014 Questionnaire

Before you decide to take part in a research study, it is important for you to understand why the research is being done and what it will involve.  Please take time to read the following information carefully and discuss it with others if you wish.  Ask us if there is anything that is not clear or if you would like more information.  Take time to decide whether or not you wish to take part.  

What is the purpose of the study?

This research will explore the gendered experiences of academics in relation to the recent Research Excellence Framework in 2014 within the University of Chester.  The first stage of this research is to gather baseline information by use of a questionnaire.  The purpose of this questionnaire is to explore your interpretation of being research active and your interpretation of your own role in research, alongside your experience of the self-selection process for entry in to the institutions submission to the Research Excellence Framework. 

Why have I been chosen?

All academic members of staff have been asked to complete this questionnaire as the research seeks to understand the factors that influence self-selection for the Research Excellence Framework (REF) from the perspective of both those who did select themselves to participate in the REF and those who did not. 

Do I have to take part?

Completion of the questionnaire is entirely voluntary.  Your decision to participate or not will not provide any advantage or disadvantage to you.  We would, however, greatly appreciate you taking the time to complete the questionnaire. You should however be aware that once you have submitted your questionnaire, it will not then be possible for you to withdraw after this point.

What will happen to me if I agree to take part?

This is an electronic questionnaire which all academic members of staff at the University of Chester have been asked to complete whether they consider themselves research active or not.   It is expected that the questionnaire should take no longer than 15 minutes to complete.  Your completion of the questionnaire will be taken as your consent to participate in the research.

Why do you ask me what faculty and department I am in? 

We are trying to understand what factors influence participants’ decision to put themselves forward for the REF or not.  As such it is important to know if there are any factors which relate to particular faculties/departments.  However, if you do not wish to identify your department/faculty, you do not have to.

Who is organising and funding the research?

This research is being funded by the Research Knowledge Transfer Office. 

What will happen to the results of the research study?

The results will be analysed by the researcher detailed below.  When any results and findings of this research project are presented or reported to others inside or outside of the University, your anonymity is guaranteed.  Reference to specific people, who you may mention, will also be removed from any quotations that are used.  Dissemination and reporting of the data from the questionnaire will not be in such detail so as to identify any particular individual.

Will my taking part in the study be kept confidential?


What if something goes wrong?

We do not expect anything to go wrong but if you wish to complain or have any concerns about any aspect of the way you have been approached or treated during the course of this research, please contact Neville Ford, Executive Dean of Research, University of Chester, Email:, Tel: 01244  513356. 

Who may I contact for further information?

Dr. Chantal Davies

01244 512303

Dr. Ruth Healey

01244 513176