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In the light of the current COVID-19 restrictions, the REF 2021 team has taken the decision to put the REF exercise on hold until further notice. This decision has been taken in recognition of the need for institutions to divert staff resource to other critical areas, including for those working in clinical and health-related fields. The exercise is now on hold until further notice and the team is now working on the adapted details of the framework.

This means that the submission deadline on 27 November 2020 will no longer apply, and the REF team will announce a new submission deadline no later than eight months prior to the deadline. Full allowance will be made for the impact of coronavirus (COVID-19) across affected areas of submissions.

When there is greater clarity about the period of serious disruption to universities, the REF team will consult on the adapted details of the framework.

Fuller details can be found in the REF letter to HEIs.