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Research Excellence Framework and equalities Belfast 29 November 2011 Ellen Pugh Senior Policy Adviser, ECU.

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Presentation on theme: "Research Excellence Framework and equalities Belfast 29 November 2011 Ellen Pugh Senior Policy Adviser, ECU."— Presentation transcript:

1 Research Excellence Framework and equalities Belfast 29 November 2011 Ellen Pugh Senior Policy Adviser, ECU

2 Outline = Background to the Research Excellence Framework (REF) = ECU’s role in the REF 2014 = Lessons from the Research Assessment Exercise 2008 = Equalities and the REF = The environment template = Individual staff circumstances = Developing a code of practice = Equality impact assessments

3 What is the Research Excellence Framework 2014? =Successor to the Research Assessment Exercise =Process of expert review of research quality =Determines amount of research funding allocated to HEIs by funding councils from =Three key areas of assessment

4 Overview of decision making 1.Funding Councils’ REF team 2.Main panels 3.Sub panels reflective of Units of Assessment 4.Institutions’ REF structures

5 Key REF contacts =Funding bodies UK REF Team =Institutional REF manager =www.ref.ac.uk ECU =May be able to assist with equality and diversity related queries

6 ECU’s role in the REF =Member of REF Equality and Diversity Advisory Group and observer on Equality and Diversity Advisory Panel. =Workshops on equality requirements of REF for HEIs REF managers =Commissioned by REF team to develop materials to support equality provisions of REF: ‒Input into Assessment framework and guidance on submissions ‒Guidance to panels on equality requirements ‒Guidance on EIA and the REF (published) ‒Information on developing a Code of Practice (published) ‒Staff disclosure of personal circumstances template (to be published December 2011) ‒Case studies on complex staff circumstances (to be published March 2012)

7 Lessons from the Research Assessment Exercise 2008 =Report into ‘Selection of staff for inclusion in RAE 2008’: ‒Selection rate for staff with declared disability lower than for staff without declared disability ‒67% of male permanent academic staff selected in comparison to 48% of women. ‒Women aged 30 – 50 particularly low rate of selection ‒Selection rate of staff from the black ethnic group lower than for staff from other ethnic groups. ‒Little change in selection from RAE 2001

8 Lessons from the Research Assessment Exercise 2008 cont. ⁼ More consistency across panels in criteria and processes relating to individual staff circumstances ⁼ More specific equalities training ⁼ Proactive proforma-based procedure for disclosing individual staff circumstances ⁼ Better communication of Codes of Practice ⁼ More guidance on equality impact assessment ⁼ More timely appeals processes ⁼ To use next exercise to promote E&D more

9 Overall approach to equalities in the REF =Equality and Diversity Advisory Group (EDAG) and Panel (EDAP) =Promotion of equality and diversity through environment template =HEIs required to develop, document and apply Code of Practice on staff selection to ensure equality and fairness for staff. =Review of effectiveness of measures through post-exercise monitoring of staff selection at sector level

10 The environment template Requires HEIs to provide information on vitality and sustainability of research environment for each submitting unit for period 1 January 2008 – 31 July 2013 in relation to: =Research strategy =People, including: ‒staff strategy and development ‒research students =Income, infrastructure and facilities

11 The environment template =Specific requirements of environment template varies by main panel and forms panel criteria =Draft criteria for all panels includes requirement for HEIs to make specific reference to each submitting unit’s measures to: 1.promote equality and diversity; and 2.implement The Concordat to Support the Career Development of Researchers in relation to staffing strategy and development.

12 The Environment template: demonstrating equality and diversity =What work are units doing to implement Section 75 of the Northern Ireland Act and the Concordat? =Unit level equality initiatives e.g. Athena SWAN, Project Juno =Local initiatives such as specific support for particular groups of researchers e.g. mentoring, communication of departmental and institutional wide policies on flexible working. =Staff equality training in relation to recruitment and promotion. =Staff awareness and implementation of initiatives such as Every Researcher Counts and the Researcher Development Framework.

13 Individual staff characteristics recognised in REF =Age =Disability (including carers of disabled people) =Gender reassignment =Marriage & civil partnership =Political opinion (Northern Ireland only) =Pregnancy & maternity =Race =Religion or belief =Sex (including breastfeeding and childcare) =Sexual orientation =Welsh language (Wales only) =Part-time and fixed-term employment status =Early career researchers

14 Individual staff circumstances and reduced research outputs Panel criteria allow for reduction in research outputs in relation to: 1.Clearly defined circumstances Early career researchers, part time working, maternity, paternity or adoptive leave, secondments or career breaks 2.More complex circumstances Disability, constraints relating to pregnancy or maternity in addition to clearly defined period of leave, caring responsibilities, gender reassignment, other circumstances related to protected characteristics

15 Institutional level: staff disclosure and handling of information =REF team advise proactive approach =Recommend using central group to assess cases and advise on decisions =HEIs need to consider confidentiality in procedures for staff disclosure =ECU suggested template for staff disclosure to be published in December 2011

16 National level: handling of information on staff circumstances 1.Clearly defined circumstances =Panel secretariat will examine cases and advise sub-panel on whether submitted number of outputs is appropriate =Information seen by sub-panel and REF team 2.More complex circumstances =Considered by EDAP which will advise main panel chairs on whether submitted number of outputs is appropriate =Information seen by EDAP, main panel chairs & REF team

17 Final panel criteria Consultation on criteria closed on 5 October 2011 Consultation questions covered: =Whether tariffs for outputs for Early Career Researchers, clearly defined circumstances and more complex circumstances set at appropriate levels =Proposed options for taking account of pregnancy and maternity =Whether consistent approach across panels was appropriate

18 Update on final panel criteria Final panel criteria will be published in January 2012 but we already know: =Change in tariff for pregnancy and maternity =Tariff for additional paternity and adoption leave being reviewed =Tariff for more complex circumstances may be reduced

19 Codes of practice Purpose: 1.Ensure work of ALL eligible staff conducting excellent research, regardless of individual staff circumstances considered for submission 2.Help them comply with equality legislation 3.Avoid inadvertent discrimination Must be signed off by Head of HEI and submitted to REF team by July 2012 =Will be reviewed by the Equality and Diversity Advisory Panel (EDAP) in advance of submission deadline =Will be published with submissions at end of process

20 Underlying principles of a code of practice Code of practice should demonstrate fairness to staff by addressing following principles: =Transparency =Consistency =Accountability =Inclusivity

21 Activity 1.What needs to be included in a Code of practice? Or; 2.What issues are arising when developing a Code of practice?

22 Equality Impact Assessments HEIs required to conduct EIA on policy & procedures for selecting staff to determine whether selection policy may have differential impact on particular groups =Should inform Code of Practice and be kept under review as submissions prepared =Should be informed by analysis of range of data, including (eligible and submitted) staff data in respect of protected characteristics for which data available =Can also consider staff on part-time and fixed term contracts =Should reviewed in light of mock exercises, appeals, and final submission

23 Questions


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