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In 2017, nominations were invited for members that command the confidence of the academic community and wider stakeholders. We sought nominations for: 

  • additional main panel members (with expertise of leading, commissioning or making use of interdisciplinary research, leading research internationally, or senior level experience in the commissioning, use or wider benefits of research)
  • sub-panel members and assessors (including practising researchers, individuals with expertise in commissioning, applying or making use of research, and interdisciplinary advisers). 

There was no limit on the number of individuals that each association or organisation can nominate, and we encouraged nominating bodies to consider a wide range of individuals to cover the full breadth of their research interests.  

The funding bodies sought nominations of candidates from a diverse range of backgrounds, institution types and geographical region. We particularly welcomed nominations of candidates from groups previously under-represented on assessment panels, including women, people from black and ethnic minority backgrounds, and disabled people.

Equality and diversity

We recognise that diversity of perspective and experience contributes fundamental insight and value to the work of the REF panels, and that this insight and value comes not only from academic achievement but also from other aspects of panel members’ lives. We have introduced several measures to the recruitment process for panel members, which are aimed at increasing the representativeness of the REF panel membership. This reflects the funding bodies’ wider commitment to supporting equality and diversity in research careers. Guidance for nominating bodies on submitting information about equality and diversity can be found here in Annex C to REF 2017/03. 

Contextual data

To further inform nominating bodies, we have made available contextual data relating to academic staff in the UK, split by age, gender, ethnicity and disability. 

Download PDFs of the data files 

List of nominating bodies (updated April 2019)

This details the names of the associations or organisations that we have listed to send information about nominating panel members or assessors for REF. However, any association or organisation with an interest in the conduct, quality, funding or use of research may make nominations to the REF panels (except individual UK HEIs, groups within or subsidiaries of individual HEIs, and HE mission groups). Associations or organisations with an interest in research who are not on this list, and who would like to receive information in future about nominating panel members and assessors, should contact

Download the REF 2021 nominating bodies

REF 2021 Nominating bodies.pdf (337 KB)