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RAE 2/98

Research Assessment Exercise 2001: bodies to nominate panel members

ToHeads of HEFCE-funded institutions
Heads of DENI-funded institutions
Heads of HEFCW-funded institutions
Heads of SHEFC-funded institutions
Of interest to those responsible forResearch assessment
ReferenceRAE 2/98
Response By 4 September 1998
Publication dateJuly 1998
Enquiries toHEFCE - David Pilsbury tel. 0117 931 7123
e-mail d.pilsbury@hefce.ac.uk

NIHEC - John Coote tel. 01247 279333
e-mail john.coote@deni.gov.uk

HEFCW - Ann Hughes tel. 01222 682221
e-mail a.hughes@wfc.ac.uk

SHEFC - Morag Campbell tel. 0131 313 6567
e-mail mcampbell@shefc.ac.uk


Executive summary

Purpose

1. The UK higher education funding bodies1 will conduct a Research Assessment Exercise (RAE) in 2001. This document invites comments on the bodies which should be invited to nominate members of the assessment panels.

Key points

2. Another document (RAE 1/98), published alongside this one, announces key decisions on the timetable and framework for the 2001 RAE.

3. We plan to convene assessment panels by spring 1999, so that they can set and publish their criteria earlier than for the 1996 RAE. This will help institutions to plan for the exercise.

Action required

4. We would like responses by 4 September 1998. We have asked institutions in a letter accompanying this document to name an RAE contact for future communication with the funding bodies about the 2001 RAE. Responses to this document should be made, through the institution's RAE contact, using the form at Annex B.

Introduction

5. The higher education funding bodies jointly published a consultation paper in November 1997 inviting comments on a number of broad issues concerning the future conduct of research assessment. The consultation helped to establish the timetable and framework for the next RAE, to be held in 2001. These have been announced in a separate document (RAE 1/98). That document also raises a small number of issues for further consultation.

Changes to panel membership

6. As a result of the consultation we have made a number of changes to improve the way panels are appointed and constituted. (These are discussed fully in paragraphs 33-23 of RAE 1/98.) For the 2001 RAE we will:

  1. Allow panel members to serve in only two successive exercises, and chairs in a maximum of three - but only twice as chair, including on panels for any new or reconfigured units of assessment (UOAs).
  2. Roll forward no more than half the membership of any one panel from the last RAE to the next.
  3. Identify panel chairs by inviting the members of each panel from the 1996 exercise to elect a chair from among themselves.
  4. Establish panels by spring 1999, so that they can set and publish their assessment criteria earlier than for the 1996 RAE. This will help institutions to plan for the exercise.

7. In adopting these changes we will

  • continue to seek nominations to panels from a wide range of bodies with an interest in research
  • continue to appoint panel members from the resulting pool of nominations, on the basis of recommendations from the panel chair
  • publish the names of those appointed to the panel and the names of the bodies who nominated them.

Nominations

8. For the 1996 RAE, we invited almost one thousand bodies to make nominations to panels. They included subject associations, learned societies, professional bodies and those representing industrial, business and other users of research and other interested parties. Our starting point for the 2001 RAE is the list of bodies from whom we actually received nominations. This list is at Annex A. We intend again to invite these organisations to nominate panel members, and seek comments on whether and how this list should be updated.

9. We would like institutions to:

  • supply the names and addresses of any organisations not on the list, which should be consulted, indicating how each one is qualified to make nominations to panels against the criteria detailed in paragraph 10 below.
  • tell us if any of the listed organisations no longer exists, or has been amalgamated with another.

10. Only bodies with a particular interest in research should be suggested as additions to this list. Such bodies may themselves undertake, utilise or apply, or fund research. We invite respondents to supply details of such organisations not listed at Annex A using the form at Annex B. We can then invite organisations to nominate panel members for particular research areas or RAE units of assessment. HEIs may not nominate themselves, nor any of their constituent bodies or subsidiary organisations.

11. We will also place press advertisements inviting interested bodies who wish to make nominations to panels to put themselves forward. We will require these bodies to state their interest in research against the criteria in paragraph 10.

12. Circular RAE 1/98 outlines our plans to ensure that the RAE makes the most effective use of the expertise of users of research, and to ensure appropriate international input into the assessment process.

13. Please respond through your institution's RAE contact. Forms should be returned by 4 September 1998 to David Pilsbury at the RAE team based at HEFCE, Northavon House, Coldharbour Lane, Bristol BS16 1QD.


1 The Higher Education Funding Council for England, the Higher Education Funding Council for Wales, the Scottish Higher Education Funding Council and the Department of Education for Northern Ireland.


Annexes

Annex A - List of subject associations, learned societies, professional bodies and those representing industrial, business and other users of research and other interested parties

Annex B - Response Form

Annex C - 1996 Units of Assessment (UOAs) mapped onto 1992 UOAs

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