New Interdisciplinary Research Advisory Panel

By | April 11, 2017
Professor Dame Athene Donald

Professor Dame Athene Donald will chair the Research Excellence Framework Interdisciplinary Research Advisory Panel it was announced today (11th April 2017). The Research Excellence Framework (REF) is conducted on behalf of the four UK higher education funding bodies. These bodies are committed to supporting and promoting the fair and equitable assessment of all research submitted to the assessment exercise.

The Interdisciplinary Research Advisory Panel (IDAP) has been established 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 in the REF. The panel will 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.

Professor Dame Athene Donald, who is Master of Churchill College Cambridge and a Professor of Physics at the University of Cambridge, has been appointed as Chair of IDAP. Her research is inherently interdisciplinary and sits at the interface of physics with biology. Professor Donald has extensive experience with research assessment, being previously a member of the physics panel in the impact pilot exercise for REF2014, a member of the physics sub-panel in the 2008 RAE and a special adviser to the Allied Health Professions and Studies sub-panel (RAE2008). Athene is also a member of the Scientific Council of the European Research Council and a former Trustee of the Science Museum.

IDAP includes members from across the UK. Members 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.

Dr Kim Hackett, REF manager, said:‘We are delighted to announce Athene as Chair of IDAP and the full membership of the panel, that collectively bring 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.’

Professor Dame Athene Donald said:‘I am pleased and excited to be chairing the REF’s first group specifically addressing this critically important area. I look forward to working with the panel to ensure that interdisciplinary research is considered effectively in all stages of the REF planning.

About the REF

The Research Excellence Framework (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. The 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).

Members of the interdisciplinary research panel.

Chair Role
Professor Dame Athene Donald Master of Churchill College Cambridge, University of Cambridge
Members Role
Professor John Clarkson Director, Cambridge Engineering Design Centre, University of Cambridge
Professor Bruce Brown Visiting Professor, Royal College of Art
Professor Mark d'Inverno Pro-Warden International, Goldsmiths, University of London
Professor Rick Delbridge Dean of Research, Innovation and Engagement at Cardiff University, academic lead for the Social Science Research Park (SPARK), Cardiff University
Dr Tori Holmes Lecturer and Researcher, Queens University Belfast
Professor Hilary Lappin-Scott Senior Pro Vice-Chancellor – Research and Innovation and Strategic Development, Swansea University
Professor Ursula Martin Professor of Computer Science, University of Oxford
Professor Hugh Mckenna Dean of Medical School Development, Ulster University
Dr Lisa Mooney Pro Vice-Chancellor Research and Knowledge Exchange, University of East London
Professor Judith Phillips Deputy Principal (Research), University of Stirling
Professor Barry Smith Director of the Institute of Philosophy, School of Advanced Study
Professor Veronica Strang Executive Director of Institute of Advanced Study, Durham University
Dr Sophie von Stumm Lecturer, Goldsmiths-University of London
Professor Joyce Tait Director of the Innogen Institute, University of Edinburgh