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REF adviser says work still needed on interdisciplinarity

Athene Donald says REF 2021 processes for flagging interdisciplinary research were not well understood

The chair of the 2021 Research Excellence Framework’s panel on interdisciplinary research, Athene Donald, has said that “not everything worked as well as we would have liked” in the exercise.

A review of the previous REF in 2014 highlighted issues faced by interdisciplinary research, with some institutions reluctant to contribute outputs perceived as interdisciplinary in case the assessment panels did not judge them fairly. The Interdisciplinary Advisory Panel was set up to deal with such issues in the 2021 exercise.

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