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International members provide strategic overview of RAE 2008

13 October 2005

The UK higher education funding bodies announced today over 50 international and additional members of the 15 overarching main panels for the Research Assessment Exercise (RAE) 2008. The international and additional members will work with the main panel chair and the 67 sub-panel chairs to provide a strategic overview of the work of the sub-panels in their respective main panel areas.

International members are practising researchers with a high level of knowledge and expertise in research across a broad discipline area internationally, including substantial experience in at least one country outside the UK. They are people whose judgement is likely to command the respect of the higher education community in their subject area.

Additional members of the main panels are experienced either in commissioning research or in using research in industry and commerce, policy and practice.

Ed Hughes, RAE Manager, said:

'Main and sub-panels are meeting soon to finalise their criteria and working methods following the consultation over the summer. The appointment now of leading international experts to join the panels will help the main panels as they work towards the publication of final criteria early next year. The panels are looking forward to their contribution to the autumn meetings.'

Sir Howard Newby, HEFCE Chief Executive, said:

'We are delighted that the RAE panels have been able to secure the involvement of a number of highly respected academics from around the world. These individuals will make an important contribution to the deliberations of the main panels by providing a wider international perspective to the assessment process. We are also delighted that panels will include research users and practitioners from industry, commerce and public service to help ensure the full and fair assessment of applied and practice-based research.

Nominations for additional and international main panel members were invited by the funding bodies in summer 2004. Members were appointed by the chief executives of the funding bodies, taking advice from the main and sub-panel chairs. The funding bodies may make further additional appointments to the main panels as the exercise continues.


1.    The Research Assessment Exercise is the sixth in a series of exercises conducted nationally to assess the quality of UK research and to inform the selective distribution of public funds for research by the four UK higher education funding bodies.

It will provide quality profiles for research across all disciplines. Submissions from institutions will be assessed by sub-panels of experts in 67 units of assessment, which are grouped into 15 main panels. The bulk of the assessment will take place in 2007-08, with outcomes to be published by the funding bodies in December 2008.

RAE 2008 is sponsored by the four UK funding bodies for higher education: the Higher Education Funding Council for England, the Scottish Higher Education Funding Council, the Higher Education Funding Council for Wales, and the Department for Employment and Learning Northern Ireland. It is managed by a team based at HEFCE.

2.    Full details of the panel membership are available.

3.    For further information please contact Ed Hughes, RAE Manager, tel 0117 931 7265 or Rama Thirunamachandran, Director of Research and Knowledge Transfer, tel 020 7420 2201.