REF Leading Committees

REF faculty committees

REF 2021 Strategy Group


• Vice-Provost (Research and Enterprise) (Chair)
• REF Lead – Business School
• REF Lead – Faculty of Engineering
• REF Lead – Faculty of Medicine
• REF Lead – Faculty of Natural Sciences
• A representative from the Faculty Ambassadors for Women.
• Director of Strategic Planning
• Strategic Planning Officer

Terms of Reference

a. The REF Strategy Group will have ultimate responsibility and accountability to the Provost Board for the delivery of an optimal, accurate and timely REF 2021 submission.

b. The Group will provide management and oversight of the preparation of the College’s REF 2021 submissions including decisions on issues of strategic importance. To include the provision of:

    i. Advice on the configuration of units of assessment (including which UoAs to make submissions to, which staff and research groups should be presented in each submission etc).
    ii. Input to strategic choices which will inform the College’s submission (including guidance to inform submission decisions about outputs).
    iii. Guidance to inform the preparation of aspects of the Environment sections of each submission (including research strategy, institutional-level Environment, enabling impact, supporting collaboration, structures to support interdisciplinary research and open research).
    iv. Guidance to inform the preparation of Impact in the REF submission, including on cross-departmental/multidisciplinary case studies.
    v. Input to, and overview of external consultations on REF 2021.
    vi. Review and sign-off of the College’s REF submissions.
    vii. Reports to Provost Board as appropriate

Meeting frequency

Approximately termly. More frequent meetings are likely to be scheduled as the REF deadline draws nearer.


Imperial College Business School REF Committee

  • REF Lead Business School (Chair)
  • Head of the Management Department
  • Professor of Financial Economics
  • Head of the Innovation and Entrepreneurship Department
  • Research Support Manager
  • Associate Dean of Faculty and Research
  • Head of the Finance Department
  • Head of Research Support
  • Professor of Entrepreneurship
Terms of reference
  • To deliver a maximum REF return on behalf of the Business School
  • To oversee REF activity across the School (including research outputs, environment, and impact), set targets where appropriate (with the Dean’s office) and recommend interventions to the Research Committee and Management Board when concerns arise.
  • To advise the Research Committee and Management Board on School REF strategy and its implementation.
  • To promote the impact of School research on policy and practice.
  • To respond to changes in the research assessment environment and ensure compliance
  • To manage engagement with College strategies and processes in preparing submission data.
Meeting frequency

Twice per year (in the first instance, increasing as submission nears).

Imperial College Business School Management Board

  • Dean of Imperial College business School
  • Associate Dean of Faculty and Research
  • Associate Dean of Programmes
  • Associate Dean of UG Programmes and Education
  • Head of Department, Finance
  • Head of Department, Innovation and Entrepreneurship
  • Head of Department, Management
  • Chair of the Diversity Committee
  • Director of Executive Education
  • Faculty Operating Officer
  • Faculty Finance Officer
  • Strategy and Planning Manager
  • EA to the Deans Office
Terms of reference
  • To set overall strategy for the School
  • To oversee the implementation of the School’s strategic plan
  • To ensure that resources are deployed effectively to deliver the School’s objectives
  • To ensure that effective management, governance and legal compliance structures are in place within the School
  • To hold budget-holders to account for delivery of their plans and budgets
  • To ensure that Research Centres are delivering their strategic objectives and plans effectively and efficiently. And that these are in line with the School strategy, by receiving annual reports
  • To approve and track major projects and to assign responsibility for these where appropriate
  • To respond to major external opportunities and threats
  • To develop recommendations requiring College approval
  • Accountability for School health and safety and risk management processes
  • To ensure effective internal and external communication of School activities
  • To ensure and nurture relationships which will enhance the reputation, image and funding of the School
  • To review its terms of reference and membership annually.
Meeting frequency

Once a term.




Faculty of Engineering REF Advisory Group

  • Associate Dean REF (Chair)
  • Vice Dean Research
  • Faculty REF Impact Lead
  • Associate Dean Enterprise
  • Head of Research Strategy & Development
  • Faculty REF Manager
Terms of reference
  • The group was established in Feb 2019;
  • The purpose of the group is to provide strategic direction and advice on the Faculty’s REF submission and advise on output selection and optimization strategies, the development of the Impact Case Studies and preparation of the Environment templates;
  • The group reports and makes recommendations to the Faculty Management Committee on the Faculty’s REF submission and contributes to the College REF Strategy Group with regard  to all aspects of the REF submission at the College level. The advice and comments from this group will be relayed onto the members of the Faculty REF Planning Group which is responsible for the operational aspects of the REF submission preparations at the Department/UoA level.
Meeting frequency

Bimonthly from February 2019.

Faculty of Engineering REF Planning Group

  • Associate Dean REF (Chair)
  • Vice-Dean Research
  • FoE REF Impact Lead
  • Department REF Lead in each of the ten Departments
  • Head of Research Strategy Development
  • Faculty REF Manager
Terms of reference
  • To take ownership and oversee preparations of the REF2021 submission within the Departments of the Faculty
  • To ensure a shared understanding of the Research England and College REF submission requirements
  • To share information and establish best practices in preparing the REF submission
  • To advise the Associate Dean for REF and the Faculty Management Committee on the strategies for the REF submission, identify any issues and develop solutions
  • To advise on the identification, development, selection and review of the REF outputs,  Impact Case Studies and Environment Templates
  • To advise on decision-making for all aspects of the Faculty’s REF submission subject to final  approval by the Faculty Management Committee
  • To ensure that the Faculty’s submissions are consistent with the College’s REF Code of Practice
Meeting frequency

Bi-monthly from Dec 2018 to May 2019 and monthly from June 2019 onwards.





Faculty of Medicine REF Committee

  • Faculty REF Lead (Chair)
  • Chair in Infectious Disease Epidemiology
  • Vice-Dean Institutional Affairs
  • Edmond and Lily Safra Chair and Head of Brain Sciences
  • Chair in Oncology
  • Vice-Dean (Research)
  • Professor of Endocrinology
  • Professor of Immunology
  • Director of Research Strategy
  • Faculty REF Manager (Secretariat)

Terms of reference

  • To evaluate the Faculty’s REF submission in terms of data concerning staff, outputs, impact and environment
  • To contribute to the formulation of statements required for the submission (ie. Impact and Environment)
  • To review the progression of the submission against targets
  • To be responsible for the collection and interpretation of data for the REF submission – liaising with SIDs where necessary
  • To provide recommendations about the REF submission to the Faculty Board, to which it reports
  • To support the Faculty in meeting both internal and external deadlines


Six times a year.



Faculty of Natural Sciences REF Committee

  • Dean (Chair)
  • Vice Dean (Research) & Faculty REF Lead
  • Faculty Operating Officer
  • Faculty REF Champion
  • Faculty REF Co-ordinator
  • Faculty Strategy Research Manager
  • Heads of Departments
  • Departmental REF Leads (Outputs, Impact and Environment)
Terms of reference

To oversee departmental preparations of the REF submission within the Faculty, namely:

  • To provide a forum for discussion between Departments regarding all aspects of the submission
  • To establish and share best practice in the preparation of submissions
  • To ensure that Research England guidance and the College strategic steer are well understood, and to advise departments on any uncertainties they have
  • To discuss and implement a Faculty strategy for REF2021
  • To communicate College-level REF activity to Department leads, including activity within the REF Steering Group
  • To provide input to Research England consultations on REF2021
  • To ensure that all decisions are informed by current equalities legislation and good management practice in line with the Colleges REF Code of Practice
Meeting frequency

Termly in 2019, increasing to bi-monthly in 2020.