The British Academy reacts to initial decision on the Future Research Assessment Programme

15 Jun 2023

Research England, alongside its equivalent bodies in the devolved administrations, has today published a set of proposals for the next research assessment exercise that will take place in 2028. This marks an important moment for the research community and the evolution of research assessment in the UK.

The British Academy is pleased to see that peer review will continue to be embedded as a fundamental part of the process going forward, and is encouraged that the proposals signal a heightened focus on research culture and people as key constituents of the research environment. However, reform of how this new conception of ‘environment’ is evidenced will be critical to ensure that this shift is a success and that it justifies the increased weighting that is being proposed.

Professor Julia Black, President of the British Academy, said:

“We welcome the opportunity to respond to these proposals and engage with Research England through consultation on behalf of our disciplinary community. Research assessment helps to determine quality-related or 'QR' funding which plays a particularly important role for the SHAPE disciplines. The proposals to expand what is captured as researchers’ contribution to their field present both opportunities and challenges for our disciplines, as do the demands for replicability. Whilst these could develop into more inclusive measures of excellence and research integrity, careful consideration will need to be given to what constitutes evidence and knowledge across different disciplines, to ensure these expanded elements are appropriate across all Units of Assessment.”

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