Charlotte Mathieson on REF 2021 & ECRs: the current situation

Charlotte Mathieson on REF 2021 & ECRs: the current situation

If you’re an early career researcher – or even a bit further ahead than that – and based in the UK, this is a really helpful summary of the situation as we currently know it and some good advice. Here’s the opening of the piece:

It is a slightly tricky time to be writing this post: there have been a host of announcements about changes to the REF policy in recent months, weeks, and even days, but much remains undecided, making it difficult to offer advice of the kind that was possible for REF 2014. That said, ECRs (and especially those currently on the job market) are very much living through this uncertainty, and can’t simply wait it out until next summer to make decisions that impact upon careers.

With that in mind, this post is intended as a reflection on the current state of affairs. While I can’t offer anything too concrete, I have tried to clarify, or at least clearly set out, the main areas of uncertainty relating to ECRs, and to give pointers on where to find information and what to look out for as further details are released. I’ve also offered some preliminary advice for ECRs based on what I think can be inferred thus far.

All of this comes with the (big) disclaimer that these are my own opinions only, some areas are still open to interpretation, this is by no means definitive, and this may well yet change: and n.b. that none of the information that has been released is final policy – that will come next year. [continue reading here]

I’m not going to offer substantial thoughts on this in response, since Charlotte outlines things with admirable clarity. Whatever you think of the REF, if you’re in the UK system you have got to work within its restrictions, so being well informed is essential. This piece is a really good place to start, and provides a lot of links to external information.

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