MeCCSA nominations for members of REF2021 panels

Process for requesting MeCCSA nomination for additional members of REF2021 Main Panel D and Sub-panels membership

Members of the REF2021 expert panels will be appointed through a nominations process. Any association or organization with a clear interest in the conduct, quality, funding or wider benefits of publicly-funded research can nominate individuals for panel membership. Mission groups, individual UK HEIs and groups within or subsidiaries of individual HEIs may not make nominations.

MeCCSA is listed as a nominating body. When making nominations we are required to submit information about how equality and diversity issues were taken into account in nominating candidates for panel membership. The funding bodies are seeking nominations of candidates from a diverse range of backgrounds, institution types and geographical regions and particularly welcome nominations of candidates from groups previously under-represented on assessment panels, including women, people from black and ethnic minority backgrounds, and disabled people.

MeCCSA is now invited to make nominations for additional members to Main Panel D (with interdisciplinary expertise, international expertise, and expertise in the use, application and wider benefits of research); and Sub-Panel members (including practising researchers, individuals with expertise in commissioning, applying or making use of research, and interdisciplinary advisers).

MeCCSA is looking to make nominations that recognize the diversity and breadth of the field and take account of equality and diversity concerns.

Any person seeking MeCCSA nomination to any REF panel as outlined above should complete the nomination form available on the MeCCSA website and send this along with their CV to the Chair of MeCCSA, Prof. Natalie Fenton ( by 23rd November 2017.

Applications for nomination will not be considered without the above information.

Any member of the MeCCSA Executive who is seeking nomination for REF panel membership will be excluded from the nominating process.

HEFCE states that their criteria for appointing sub-panels will be:

  1. Each sub-panel should include expertise across the main fields of research within the UOA, and its membership should collectively command the respect of the relevant research and wider communities.
  2. The sub-panel members should have appropriate expertise to contribute to the development of the criteria across the sub-panel’s remit, with an ability to understand and appreciate a diverse range of research topics and approaches. Appropriate expertise includes interdisciplinary research and expertise in the wider use or benefits of research.
  3. Each sub-panel will have at least one appointed member with a specific role to oversee and participate in the assessment of interdisciplinary research submitted in that UOA, to ensure its equitable assessment. HEFCE expect to make further appointments of members with this role in the assessment phase.
  4. The diversity of the research community in the relevant fields should be reflected in the sub-panel membership.
  5. Sub-panels will be composed predominantly of practising researchers, and will include individuals with expertise in the use or benefits of research.
  6. Sub-panel members will be appointed on the basis of their personal experience and expertise, not as representatives of any group or interest.
  7. There should be an appropriate degree of continuity in the sub-panel’s membership from previous assessment exercises. Where possible at least a third of the members of the sub-panel will have REF or RAE panel experience; and at least a third will not have served on REF or RAE panels.

Taking account of the above criteria MeCCSA will apply the following criteria to assess applications for nomination from practicing researchers:

(a) Appropriate standing in the community:

  • Evidence of conducting leading research in the field
  • Other indicators of standing in the academic community

(b) Ability to carry the confidence of our members

  • Extensive experience of peer review
  • Experience of assessing research quality standards
  • Experience and understanding of evaluating the impact/benefits/public engagement of research
  • Commitment to and experience of fairness in assessment procedures
  • Understanding of and commitment to equality and diversity issues

Nominations will be submitted directly to HEFCE. All main and sub-panel chairs, members and assessors will be appointed by the chief executives (or equivalent) of the four UK higher education funding bodies. Sufficient sub-panel members to ensure the sub-panels have appropriate expertise to contribute to the criteria will be appointed in early 2018 after taking advice from the sub-panel chair in each case, and in discussion with the main panel chairs.

People who have been nominated by HEFCE’s deadline of 20 December  2017 will be informed as soon as possible. Others applicants will not be notified. MeCCSA thanks you in advance for taking the time to put yourself forward for these key roles in our sector. Due to the numbers of likely applicants MeCCSA regrets that feedback on the nominating decisions will not be given. Please note that appointments are made by the funding councils, taking regard of, but not determined by subject association nominations.

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