Covid-19 - Staff Update - REF 2021: on hold until further notice

Covid-19 - Staff Update - REF 2021: on hold until further notice

Staff Update - 24 March 2020

Dear Colleague,

We were notified earlier today that, in the light of the current Covid-19 pandemic, the funding councils have put the UK Research Excellence Framework (REF2021) exercise on hold until further notice. They wished to reassure institutions that all Covid-19 critical activities should be prioritised without concern for any resulting effect on REF preparations.

This means that the submission deadline on 27 November 2020 will no longer apply. The REF staff census date (31 July 2020) remains unchanged, but we will no longer be preparing for a full submission later in the year. 

The REF2021 team have started work on adapting the REF2021 framework to accommodate for this delay and have committed to providing the sector with at least 8 months notice of any new deadline for submission. They have also committed to ensuring that full allowance is made for the impact of coronavirus and have will consult with the sector on any proposed adaptations to the REF framework. 

There are no further details available at this stage, but we will keep you all informed of any developments as they are released.  The REF team within R&I will continue to be available to support staff over this transitional period.

The formal announcement can be viewed at:

Best wishes


Professor Marion Campbell
Vice Principal (Research) & Professor of Health Services Research