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REF 2021: Declaring Individual Circumstances

De Montfort University recognises that there may be many reasons why individuals publish at different rates, and does not expect every member of eligible staff to contribute equally to the volume of outputs submitted in REF 2021.

In line with the REF Guidance, and as part of the university’s commitment to supporting fairness, equality and inclusion in REF 2021, we have implemented a process which is voluntary for staff who are eligible for inclusion in our REF submission, whereby they can declare information about individual circumstances. This includes that of being an early career academic that may have affected their ability to research productively during the assessment period (1 January 2014–31 July 2020).  More detail on qualifying circumstances and the defined reductions in output can be found in section 160 of the REF Guidance and DMU’s Code of Practice (pages 15-18) and in Appendix 11.

As part of this process, we will be writing to all staff that hold a Research Innovation Allowance (RIA) to provide them with the opportunity to make a voluntary declaration.

If you believe you should have been contacted about this but have not received an email or a letter please email:

A specially established Individual Circumstances Panel, which is separate from Units of Assessment and Research Services will review all requests against the criteria set out.

To enable individuals to disclose circumstances with confidence of the appropriate degree of confidentiality, the process will be managed by the Head of Equality, Diversity and Inclusion. The panel will consider output reductions and will communicate its assessment to the relevant individuals and to the UOA lead. This Panel will liaise with HR and/or HoD upon request from individuals.

Staff wishing to use this process must complete the form at the end of Appendix 12, which can be downloaded as a PDF here, or a Word document here.

All requests must be received at by 5.00pm on 22 January 2020.

If you have any queries about Individual Staff Circumstances in REF 2021, contact Chris Hall, Head of Equality, Diversity and Inclusion at

You may find it helpful to review the webinar from Research England on staff circumstances and output reductions.