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The REF is the UK’s system for assessing the quality of research in UK higher education institutions and is undertaken by the four UK higher education funding bodies: Research England, the Scottish Funding Council (SFC), the Higher Education Funding Council for Wales (HEFCW), and the Department for the Economy, Northern Ireland (DfE).  The funding bodies’ shared policy aim for research assessment is to secure the continuation of a world-class, dynamic and responsive research base across the full academic spectrum within UK higher education. 

The most recent exercise was submitted in March 2021, with University of Chester submitting to 19 of the 34 subject-based units of assessment (UoAs), under the guidance of four main panels.  The REF is a process of expert review and these expert panels are made up of senior academics, international members, and research users.   

For each submission, three distinct elements are assessed: the quality of outputs (e.g. publications, performances, and exhibitions), their impact beyond academia, and the environment that supports research.  Information on the University of Chester submission to REF2021, relating to these three elements, can be found under each submitted UoA: 

Main Panel A 

Main Panel B 

Main Panel C 

Main Panel D 

Allied Health Professions, Dentistry, Nursing and Pharmacy

Chemistry

14 

Geography and Environmental Studies

25 

 

Area Studies

Psychology, Psychiatry and Neuroscience 

10 

Mathematical Sciences 

15 

Archaeology

27 

English Language and Literature 

Biological Sciences

11 

Computer Science and Informatics

17 

Business and Management Studies  

28 

History

 

 

12 

Engineering

20 

Social Work and Social Policy

31 

Theology and Religious Studies 

 

 

 

 

23 

Education

32 

Art and Design: History, Practice and Theory

 

 

 

 

24 

Sport and Exercise Sciences, Leisure and Tourism

33 

Music, Drama, Dance, Performing Arts, Film and Screen Studies 

In line with the requirements of REF2021, the University of Chester developed, documented and applied a Code of Practice on the fair and transparent identification of staff with significant responsibility for research; determining who is an independent researcher; and the selection of outputs, including approaches to supporting staff with circumstances.  The REF2021 Codes of Practice Complaints and Investigations Process opened on 1 April 2021; to provide assurance to the UK funding bodies that COPs are being applied as set out by institutions participating in REF 2021 and provide assurance to the UK funding bodies of the accuracy of submissions to REF 2021. This assurance helps meet the UK funding bodies’ obligations concerning equality, diversity and inclusion.  

REF 2014 

The University of Chester was found to have made steady progress over all within the Research Excellence Framework undertaken in 2014, with significant improvement across the 16 Units of Assessment into which submissions were made.  All academic areas submitted were judged to include international excellent research, with many areas also including world leading research. 

The full results for the University of Chester can be viewed on the REF 2014 website