The Research Excellence Framework (REF) is the new system for assessing the quality of research in UK higher education institutions (HEIs). It replaces the Research Assessment Exercise (RAE). The results of the REF will be used by the funding bodies to inform their allocations of research funding to HEIs.
The REF will be a process of expert review, informed by indicators. Institutions will submit evidence of the quality of their research outputs, the wider impact of their research and the vitality of the research environment, to be assessed by 30-40 sub-panels. The sub-panels will work under the guidance of four Main Panels.
The funding bodies wish to appoint Chairs Designate to the four REF Main Panels. Initially, their role will be to advise on the further planning and design of the assessment framework, before taking up their roles as Main Panel Chairs once the panels are in place later in the year.
The four Main Panels will broadly cover the following areas of research: Medicine, health and life sciences (Main Panel A), Physical sciences, engineering and mathematics (Main Panel B), Social sciences (Main Panel C), and Arts and humanities (Main Panel D).
Main Panels will meet several times during 2010-11 to develop panel criteria and working methods (including for the assessment of research impact) and throughout the assessment phase of the REF. In addition, Chairs will be expected to attend a number of sub-panel meetings and meetings of the Main Panel chairs. In total it is anticipated that Main Panel Chairs will be involved in approximately 30-40 days of meetings throughout the exercise.
Chairs will receive an attendance fee for meetings, an additional fee in recognition of preparatory work undertaken, and an honorarium on completion of the exercise.
Further details, including job description, person specification and how to apply, can be found here
The closing date for applications is midday on 22nd April 2010.
Further details on the outcomes of consultations on proposals for the REF and initial decisions on its design are available from the HEFCEwebsite.