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Research Assessment Exercise 2008: Multiple Submissions

1.   This document informs HEIs how to apply to make a multiple submission (that is more than one submission to a single unit of assessment (UOA) in the 2008 Research Assessment Exercise (RAE)), and how we will assess applications. It expands on our earlier statement about multiple submissions, published in paragraphs 49-51 of the Guidance on submissions for the 2008 RAE (RAE 03/2005). This document should be read in conjunction with the RAE 2008 Data Collection System.

2.   Normally, each HEI will make one submission only in each UOA in which it wishes to have its research assessed. Multiple submissions will therefore be exceptional.

Making applications

3.   HEIs that wish to make a multiple submission to any UOA must apply for permission. A separate application is required for each UOA to which a multiple submission is proposed. Applications must be made via the RAE 2008 data collection system and may be made at any time between the final release of the data collection system (December 2006) and 30 March 2007. Any application received after 30 March 2007 will not be considered. A 500 word (maximum) explanatory statement will be required as part of each application.

4.   The RAE 2008 Data Collection System User Guide contains technical guidance on the processes involved in applying to make a multiple submission; and in actually making a multiple submission when permission has been granted.

5.   Our intentions in requesting and judging applications are

6.   The RAE team will consider each application received and will notify the HEI of our decision within 2 calendar months of receiving it.

7.   In deciding whether a multiple submission will be permitted, we will take account of both:

If an application provides evidence of both, then permission will be granted. For example, in a case where two departments were physically distant, and pursued entirely unrelated activities which fell within the same UOA, we would expect to accede to a request for a multiple submission. An example might be, in relation to UOA 25, separate mining engineering and general engineering departments.

8.   We will take advice from the chairs of the relevant main panel and UOA sub-panel on the academic aspects of all applications.

Applications from merged HEIs

9.   Where HEIs have merged between 1 January 2001 and 30 June 2005, they may apply to make multiple submissions, but we would normally expect them to make one submission in each UOA in which they wish their research to be assessed. Where HEIs have merged since 1 July 2005, they make seek permission to make multiple submissions in all of the UOAs in which they wish to submit.

10.   In assessing applications from merged HEIs, we will take advice from the relevant funding body about structural and organisational matters: we will share with the relevant funding body the case made by the merged HEI and will request a recommendation from the funding body about the appropriateness of single or multiple submissions. A recommendation in favour of separate submission(s) will need to be based on evidence that the merged HEI has not or cannot achieve academic cohesion between the merged departments within a reasonable time before the RAE submission date. Account will not normally be taken of structural considerations alone (for example, inability to co-locate research staff following the merger).


11.   At this stage, before applications are made, we wish to give HEIs as much information as possible about the conditions in which an application is likely to succeed. Multiple submissions are more likely to be permitted where the HEI contains two or more substantially distinct research units that fall within the scope of a single UOA.

12.   While we reaffirm that decisions will be based on evidence of academic and structural distinction (see paragraph 7 above), and that we will take advice from panel chairs, and where relevant, the funding bodies, we advise that permission is most likely to be granted in the following cases:

13.   Permission will not be granted for the sake of administrative convenience nor where the proposed separate submissions are distinct only in a structural sense - for example because groups of researchers are not physically co-located.

14.   If a request to make a multiple submission is granted, each submission will be assessed separately: sub-panels will not compare data between multiple submissions and no information provided in one submission will influence the assessment of the other(s). The RAE Team may cross-check data in multiple submissions as part of the data verification process.