Core Eligibility Criteria

The core eligibility criteria is defined as academic staff with a contract of employment of 0.2 full-time equivalent (FTE) or greater, on the payroll of the submitting institution on the census date of 31 July 2020, whose primary employment function is to undertake either ‘research only’ or ‘teaching and research’.  Under the REF 2021 rules, the College must submit all staff meeting the core eligibility criteria, who have a significant responsibility for research.

Substantive Connection

Staff should have a substantive connection with the submitting institution. Staff appointed on the minimum eligible fractional contract (0.2 FTE) who do not have a clear connection to the submitting institution will not be eligible for inclusion. A statement will be required for staff on 0.2 FTE to evidence their eligibility.

Further guidance on the full range of indicators that might evidence a substantive connection will be published, following consultation with the main and sub-panels. This may include, for example, postgraduate research (PGR) student supervision responsibilities. Guidance will also be developed on instances when a statement may not be required for staff on the minimum fractional contracts (for example, staff with caring responsibilities or other personal circumstances).

Research Only Staff

For staff on ‘research only’ contracts, the eligible pool will only include those staff who are independent researchers, and not research assistants. 

Research England are working with the main panels to provide further guidance appropriate to specific discipline areas on the definition of an ‘independent researcher’, including guidance on which fellowships would usually be considered to meet the definition. The guidance will build on a generic definition, developed from that used in REF 2014 (undertaking ‘independent research, leading or acting as principal investigator or equivalent on a research grant or significant piece of research work’).