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REF2021 at Leeds

The University’s preparations for REF2021 were led by the REF Steering Group.  The membership was:

  • Professor Nick Plant, Deputy Vice Chancellor, Research and Innovation, Dean of Research Quality and Impact (Chair)
  • Professor Frank Finlay, Dean of Cultural Engagement
  • Professor Alan Haywood, Research and Innovation Pro-Dean, Faculty of Environment
  • Professor Paul Stewart, Executive Dean, Faculty of Medicine and Health
  • Professor Stuart Taberner, Dean Interdisciplinary Research
  • Mrs Michelle Double, Head of Research Quality and Policy
  • Mrs Linda Mortimer Pine, Deputy Head of Human Resources

The Steering Group was supported by four Review Groups.  Their role was to support the Steering Group in achieving the best possible outcome from the REF for the University as a whole. Membership comprised the Research and Innovation Pro-Deans and other senior academic staff with experience of research assessment.

Unit of Assessment (UOA) leaders were responsible for drawing together the submission for their UOA, working closely with Deans, Pro-Deans, Heads of School and Directors of Research and Innovation.

Terms of reference for the Steering Group, Review Groups and UOA leaders are available on request from

Details of the arrangements and schedule for publishing the Research Excellence Framework (REF) 2021 results are set out in this document. On 12 May 2022, the REF team on behalf of the four UK higher education funding bodies will publish the results of REF 2021.

Equality and Inclusion and REF2021

All institutions submitting to REF2021 were required to draw up a Code of Practice covering the identification of REF-eligible staff, the selection of outputs for inclusion in the submission, the declaration of staff circumstances and an appeals process. The funding bodies' Codes of Practice complaints and investigations process opened on 1 April 2021. Further information may be found at

The University’s Code was approved by the funding bodies in summer 2019.

Staff who wished to declare equality related circumstances which have significantly constrained their ability to produce outputs or to work productively throughout the assessment period were able to notify the University. Declarations were voluntary and confidential.

For further information please refer to the University Code of Practice.

Systems and Data for REF2021

The REF submission for each Unit of Assessment comprised of information on

  • Staff (the staff census date was 31 July 2020)
  • Research outputs published 1 January 2014 – 31 December 2020
  • Impact (Impact case studies describing the impact that Leeds’ research has had beyond academia) in the period 1 August 2013 – 31 December 2020
  • Environment (An institutional-level statement and a unit-level statement) explaining how the institution/unit supports research and its impact
  • Research income and post-doctoral degrees awarded 1 August 2013 – 31 July 2020

The information required for the submission was drawn from Symplectic (the University’s publication database, SAP HR and our HESA returns) and was collated and displayed by Unit of Assessment in a REF2021 module of IRIS