All information relating to REF2021 at UEA will be posted here.

REF2021 Useful Links

UEA REF2021 Planning

The University's REF2021 submission will be overseen by the Pro Vice Chancellor for Research and Innovation, Professor Fiona Lettice, and coordinated by the Research and Innovation Service (RIN).

Queries or requests for further information should be sent to

The University has produced a Code of Practice to underpin our preparations for the submission. This document is available below. 

A REF Unit of Assessment Coordinator has been appointed to coordinate each submission under the guidance of an Associate Dean (Research). 

REF2021 Code of Practice: Preparing Research Excellence Framework Submissions

The REF Code of Practice details the approach, processes and procedures for use in the preparation of the University's submission to the 2021 Research Excellence Framework. The Code has been approved by the University Research Executive and Executive Team, and was considered by the University Council prior to submission to the REF Equality and Diversity Panel for approval. Approval was confirmed by Research England 08 November 2019.

Download the Code of Practice (pdf) here.

Download the Independent Researcher Status Submission Form (Word) here.

Download the Disclosure of Individual Circumstances Template Form (Word) here.

The Code of Practice and accompanying forms can be requested in alternative formats. Contact for more information. 

The University held an open meeting for staff to learn more about the REF Code of Practice on 4th July 2019. The slides from the presentation can be downloaded here.

Open Access and REF2021 

For REF2021, journal articles and conference proceedings must be made open access to be eligible for submission. See the Open Access portal page for more information.

Research Impact

REF2014 was the first research assessment exercise to examine the impact of research outside academia.

For the purposes of the REF, impact is defined as an effect on, change or benefit to the economy, society, culture, public policy or services, health, the environment or quality of life, beyond academia. - REF2021 Guidance on Submission p.68

REF2014 impact case studies have been analysed and this work has produced a searchable tool - the REF Impact Case Study Database.

For further information about how impact case studies are being supported at UEA for REF please see our Research Impact pages

UEA impact case study leads: Please refer to our guidance on collecting evidence via testimonials/surveys. This includes some text to include when approaching third parties and information on how to store data in line with GDPR requirements. 

External research users: Please refer to our information for research users. This includes more information on the REF and how UEA and Research England will use any information you provide, along with links to further information via the REF website. 

Previous Research Assessment Exercises:

2014 Research Excellence Framework

The 2014 Research Excellence Framework (REF) ranked UEA 10th in the UK for the quality of its research output (Times Higher REF 2014 Analysis).

The results show that more than 82 per cent of UEA research is classified as either ‘world-leading’ or ‘internationally excellent’ confirming UEA’s position as a premier research institution making a substantial impact on the global challenges facing society.

The University is one of REF2014’s biggest climbers, with a 12-place rise since the last research assessment in 2008 and dramatic improvements across the arts, sciences, health and social sciences.

For more information on the results see the University's press release or HEFCE's REF2014 results and analysis website.

The Research Excellence Framework (REF) was the new system for assessing the quality of research in higher education institutions in the UK and replaces the Research Assessment Exercise (RAE), last undertaken in 2008. The primary purpose of REF 2014 was to inform the allocation of higher education funding for research with effect from 2015-16. It also provides accountability for public investment in research and provides benchmarking information and reputational yardsticks for use within the Higher Education (HE) sector and for public information.

2008 Research Assessment Exercise

Results from the 2008 RAE