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University's magnificent seven research experts

Seven University of Exeter professors have been chosen as expert panel members for the 2014 Research Excellence Framework.

On Monday 21 February, the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) announced the appointment of the majority of panel members for the 36 Units of Assessment it will be using for the 2014 Research Excellence Framework.

Seven professors from the University of Exeter have been included. The Research Excellence Framework (REF) is the new system for assessing the quality of research in UK higher education institutions, and replaces the Research Assessment Exercise (RAE).

The last RAE, in 2008, placed Exeter amongst the country’s leading research-intensive universities, with nearly 90% of our research rated as being at internationally recognised levels.

The seven University of Exeter professors included in the panels are:

  • Professor David Butler from the College of Engineering, Mathematics and Computer Science (General Engineering panel)
  • Professor Peter Cox from the College of Engineering, Mathematics and Computer Science (Earth Systems and Environmental Sciences panel)
  • Professor Tia DeNora from the College of Social Sciences and International Studies (Sociology panel)
  • Professor Mark Jackson from the College of Humanities (History panel)
  • Professor Andy Jones from the College of Life and Environmental Sciences (Sports-Related Studies panel)
  • Professor Debra Myhill from the College of Social Sciences and International Studies (Education panel)
  • Professor Roy Sambles from the College of Engineering, Mathematics and Computer Science (Physics panel)

HEFCE has also published the names of various international and 'external' members of each panel - those "with expertise in the use, application and wider benefits of research". Organisations range from the BBC and the British Library through to AstraZeneca, The Law Society, and the British Olympic Association.

HEFCE will appoint further panel members over the coming months, and additional assessors closer to the REF assessment period.

The REF will be undertaken by the four UK higher education funding bodies (HEFCE, HEFCW, SFC and DELNI). The exercise will be managed by the REF team based at HEFCE and overseen by the REF Steering Group, consisting of representatives of the four funding bodies.

The REF will inform the selective allocation of research funding to HEIs, provide benchmarking information and establish reputational yardsticks, and provide accountability for public investment in research and demonstrate its benefits.

Further details of the 36 Units of Assessments’ remits and panel membership can be found at the HEFCE website: http://www.hefce.ac.uk/research/ref/panels/

Date: 24 February 2011

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