‘Impact’ on Impact Preparations for REF2021

By Jun.15, 2020

There is currently still some uncertainty around revised dates for REF2021. What we know at this stage is that the final REF2021 submission deadline has been moved from 27 November 2020 to some point in 2020, but this will be 31 March 2020 at the earliest.

The REF2021 impact generation period was originally set to end 31 July 2020. Given the ongoing challenges around the current coronavirus pandemic, Research England has consulted with the sector and it appears likely that the current impact generation period will be extended for an additional 5 months to 31 December 2020 in order to allow case study leads to undertake activities that have had to be cancelled or deferred as a result of Covid-19 within the new timeframe.

However, if the decision is made not to extend the deadline, we can expect at the very least to be able to submit statements of mitigation alongside the case studies to explain why impact activity has been curtailed.

The revised timetable will give impact case study leads plenty of additional time to do the following:

  • Undertake further impact-generating activities crucial to the impact narrative (e.g. further public engagement or dissemination events)
  • Collect impact evidence (such as testimonials, reports, media articles)
  • Refine the narrative for impact case studies (with assistance from our external trainer from the Royal Literary Fund, Chris Simms)

We have recently completed another round of internal and external peer review of the impact case studies that are still under consideration for submission to REF2021 and the feedback has shown that there is plenty of work still to be done, particularly in the collection of impact evidence and in the refining of narratives.

We urge all impact leads to engage fully with the process between now and the REF submission deadline so that we can submit our strongest return possible.

A REF Impact Case Study Leads Teams site has recently been set up and will be a space in which we can share useful information and best practice as well as relevant REF guidance. It will also be a space where leads can upload their drafts so that other leads can take a look for ideas and inspiration.

Some useful documents have already been added under the ‘General’ channel so that impact leads have access to material that may be helpful as the case studies develop.

Go to www.salford.ac.uk/ref to check out all the REF guidance and more.

If you would like to find out more about impact in general, please contact Emma Sutton, Impact, Engagement and Environment Coordinator on research-impact@salford.ac.uk

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