Interdisciplinary Research Advisory Panel announced

Swansea University’s Senior Pro-Vice Chancellor, Professor Hilary Lappin-Scott is to be a member of the newly formed Research Excellence Framework (REF) Interdisciplinary Research Advisory Panel (IDAP).

Professor Hilary Lappin-ScottProfessor Lappin-Scott, who leads on Research and Innovation and Strategic Development for Swansea University, will join with her fellow IDAP members to advise the REF team, REF panel chairs and the UK funding bodies on the approach to support the submission and assessment of interdisciplinary research (IDR) in of the REF.

The panel will also advise on whether it should have a specific role in the submissions and assessment phase of the next REF in summer 2018, following the completion of its initial work.

REF1 is conducted on behalf of the four UK higher education funding bodies2 as part of their commitment to supporting and promoting the fair and equitable assessment of all research submitted to the assessment exercise.

IDAP includes members from across the UK and were appointed following a nominations process, and include experienced researchers with extensive interdisciplinary and research assessment experience. A number of them have been actively engaged in recent interdisciplinary research policy research undertaken by HEFCE, Research Councils UK and the British Academy.

Professor Lappin-Scott said: “I am delighted to be a member of IDAP and I am looking forward to working with my colleagues to meet the challenges presented in effectively evaluating interdisciplinary work for REF.  It is a difficult area but I am committed to finding the right recommendations that will support academics engaged in interdisciplinary work in their submissions to the next REF.”

Dr Kim Hackett, REF manager, said: ‘We are delighted to announce the IDAP that collectively brings a wealth of knowledge and experience about interdisciplinary research from across the UK. We look forward to working with the group to support the submission and ensure fair and equitable assessment of interdisciplinary research during the next REF.’

 1The REF is the system for assessing the quality of research in UK higher education institutions. The most recent exercise concluded in 2014. The REF is a peer review assessment process involving senior UK academics, users of research from organisations beyond higher education and international advisers. The results of the REF are used to drive the UK higher education funding bodies’ annual distribution of research funding to UK universities.
 2The four UK funding bodies are: the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE), the Scottish Funding Council (SFC), the Higher Education Funding Council for Wales (HEFCW) and the Department for the Economy, Northern Ireland (DfE).