REF 2021

The Research Excellence Framework (REF) is the UK’s system for assessing the quality of research in UK higher education institutions. It is run by the four funding bodies in the UK.

The results of the next exercise will be made available in December 2021. These will inform the provision of annual block grants, known as QR (quality-related) funding, to universities from 2022.

Further information about the REF2021 assessment.

Inclusive practices

Committed to equality

We are deeply committed to embedding equality and diversity in everything we do. Our approach to REF is therefore aligned fully with our institutional strategy and policy for inclusion and diversity, the purpose of which is: ‘to create an inspirational, inclusive learning and working environment, celebrating the diversity of our University community in our everyday conversations’.

The development of our Code of Practice has been a joint effort by our REF Team, Inclusion & Diversity Team, HR and our academic community and we are committed to addressing inequalities in our research environment particularly within research leadership roles.

Responsible Research Assessment

Integrity and transparency

We value an approach to research assessment founded on integrity and transparency and have designed our REF processes accordingly. Getting it right means we recognise, celebrate and foster research excellence; and we evaluate our researchers in fair, accurate and transparent ways, including through the responsible use of research metrics in decision-making.

As part of our institutional commitment to the responsible use of research metrics, in 2019 the University of Salford became a signatory to the San Francisco Declaration on Research Assessment (DORA). However, signing DORA is just the first step. Our academic-led Responsible Research Assessment task group has produced a set of complementary institutional principles and guidance, and the University is putting in place a roadmap to drive the changes needed to make sure we live by these principles.

Contact us

REF Contacts

Our REF preparations are led by the Pro Vice-Chancellor for Research and Innovation, Professor Karl Dayson. The preparation of our submission is managed primarily through the REF Steering Group with formal governance of the process overseen by the Research and Enterprise Committee (a committee of Senate).

The REF Team at Salford includes a central team in the Division of Research and Knowledge Exchange, supported by leads/co-leads and deputy leads for each Unit of Assessment submission.

For any initial queries, please contact the REF Team ( or email one of our named contacts: