Countdown to REF 2029

The submission deadline has now passed.

Helping universities get ready for REF

Review of the central coordination of REF 2021 submission

We identified process improvements in the way the College prepares the REF submission and investigated opportunities to curate the research environment at the institution.Imperial College London | REF Ready

Chemistry impact through the lens of REF 2021

We conducted an analysis of the published documents from REF 2021, focussing on contributions of UK chemistry to science, society and the economy.Royal Society of Chemistry | REF Ready

Research integrity activity among UK institutions

We reviewed institutional research integrity statements to provide an overview of research integrity activity and good practice at higher education institutions in the United Kingdom.UKCORI | REF Ready

Investigating institutional open research culture

We explored barriers and good practice in relation to open research and supported the development of REF environment statements.University of Liverpool | REF Ready

Examining the institutional research culture

We assessed how postgraduate students and research staff view the current research culture at the University of Sheffield, and how this can be improved upon to encourage excellence.University of Sheffield | REF Ready

Interdisciplinary research in the Research Excellence Framework

We were commissioned by The Physiological Society to review the UK Higher Education Funding Bodies Initial Decisions for REF 2028 in the light of recommendations from The Society’s 2021 report The future of interdisciplinary research beyond REF 2021.The Physiological Society | REF Ready
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Now is the time to take action in these areas to deliver an optimum submission

Strategy and governance

Systems and reporting

Impact and engagement

People, culture and environment

Outputs and open research

Research Consulting delivered a wide-ranging research data management review for the University of Oxford, engaging multiple University functions and Oxford’s academic community. I was impressed with the team’s responsiveness and their work has laid a firm foundation for the strategic and operational development of research data management at the University.
Patrick Grant, Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Research, University of Oxford

University of Oxford | REF Ready

The rocky road to REF 2029


  1. Start of PCE commissioned work and announcement of PCE pilot
  2. Open Access Consultation launch
  3. Deadline for expressions of interest for PCE pilot institutions
  4. Recruitment begins for full panels
  5. Publication of Open Access requirements
  6. Panels meet to develop criteria
  7. Publish further decisions


  1. Publication of draft guidance
  2. Publication of final report on PCE indicators & report on PCE pilot
  3. Consultation on draft guidance
  4. Potential start of HESA staff UoA data collection pilot (indicative)


  1. Publication of final guidance & criteria
  2. REF team complete preparation of submission systems
  3. Internal milestone for submission preparations 25%


  1. Ongoing submission system familiarisation and testing
  2. Submissions intentions deadline
  3. Internal milestone for submission preparations 50%
  4. Internal milestone for submission preparations 75%


  1. Start of submission phase
  2. Internal milestone for submission preparations 100%
  3. Final deadline for submission


  1. Assessment phase starts
  2. Begin internal reflection on processes and lessons learned
  3. Internal process for potential publication of case studies
  4. End of assessment phase: REF 2029 results published







Now is the time to take action to deliver an optimum submission for REF 2029.

Research Consulting were proactive in their communication, kept to schedule and delivered on time. They presented a useful report which has formed the basis of changes we are implementing in the University. We are very happy with the outcome.Stephanie Bales, Director, Research & Enterprise Office, Teesside University
Teeside University | REF Ready

Meet the team

Rob Johnson | REF Ready

Rob Johnson

Managing Director
  • Founder and Managing Director of Research Consulting.
  • A leading expert on research policy, management and scholarly communication.
  • Has delivered more than 100 projects for clients in academia, government, private and not-for-profit sectors.
Dan King | REF Ready

Dan King

  • Over 25 years’ experience in the research management and strategy including strategy, development, partnerships and funding.
  • Experienced two procurement cycles for RIM systems at universities.
  • Led on an extensive research project exploring the RIM landscape.
Andrea Chiarelli | REF Ready

Andrea Chiarelli

Principal Consultant
  • Working at the forefront of innovation in open research practices and scholarly communication.
  • Led a range of projects on research integrity and its impact on institutional and individual research culture.
  • Experienced in monitoring and evaluation in a research policy context from institutional and funder perspectives.
Angharad Roberts | REF Ready

Angharad Roberts

Senior Analyst
  • 20 years’ experience in academic administration and librarianship.
  • Specialises in research strategy, management, policy and funding.
  • Worked as a Secretary for two sub-panels during the REF 2021 assessment phase.
Ian Carter | REF Ready

Ian Carter

Expert Associate
  • 30 years’ experience in research management, across a range of topics and contexts.
  • Involved in five UK research assessment exercises (RAEs/REFs: 1996, 2001, 2008, 2014, 2021).
  • Institutional lead for four assessment cycles.
Pauline Muya | REF Ready

Pauline Muya

Expert Associate
  • 30 years’ experience in research management, across the full research lifecycle in six universities.
  • Led institutional preparations for REF 2014 and REF 2021.
  • REF 2021 Panel Adviser for Research England from 2017-2022.

Helping you prepare for REF

Performance in the Research Excellence Framework continues to be a critical enabler of institutional success. We work in partnership with universities to identify and overcome the roadblocks to an optimum REF submission.

Contact us for a REF readiness review

If you would like to book a call to discuss your REF readiness needs, please complete the contact form and one of our team will be in touch.