REF 2021 Consideration for Individual Circumstances

REF 2021 Consideration for Individual Circumstances

As part of the University’s commitment to supporting equality and diversity in the forthcoming Research Excellence Framework (REF 2021), we have put in place safe and supportive structures for eligible academic staff to declare information about any equality-related circumstances that may have affected their ability to research productively during the assessment period (1 January 2014 – 31 December 2020), and particularly their ability to produce research outputs at the same rate as staff not affected by circumstances.

Circumstances that are applicable are:

  • Qualifying as an early career researcher (ECR) (started career as an independent researcher on or after 1 August 2016)
  • Absence from work due to secondments or career breaks outside the HE sector
  • Qualifying periods of family-related leave
  • Disability (including chronic conditions)
  • Ill heath, injury or mental health conditions
  • Constraints relating to family leave that fall outside of the standard allowances
  • Caring responsibilities
  • Gender reassignment

If your ability to research productively during the assessment period has been constrained due to one or more of the above circumstances, you are requested to complete the attached form. Further information can be found in paragraph 160 of the Guidance on Submissions (REF 2019/01).

Completion and return of the form is voluntary, and individuals who do not choose to return it will not be put under any pressure to declare information if they do not wish to do so.  This form is the only means by which the University will be gathering this information; we will not be consulting HR records, contract start dates, etc.  You should therefore complete and return the form if any of the above circumstances apply and you are willing to provide the associated information.

All information supplied will be held securely and confidentially in accordance with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) Data Protection Act 2018. Submitted data will be kept confidential to the national REF team, the REF Equality and Diversity Advisory Panel, and main panel chairs. All these bodies are subject to confidentiality arrangements. LJMU REF and EDI team will destroy the submitted data about individuals’ circumstances on completion of the assessment phase.


What action do I need to take?

If you wish to declare your individual circumstance, please forward your completed REF 2021 Individual Circumstance Letter and Form(Updated 2020) to Moni Akinsanya, Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Manager at your earliest convenience before 31st March 2020.

However, staff whom require an extention will have further opportunities to declare their circumstances with a deadline date of 30th September 2020.


Moni Akinsanya

Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Manager

People and Organisational Development

Exchange Station, Tithebarn Street


L2 2QP

Tel:  0151 231 8141


If further information is required about any circumstances disclosed, Moni Akinsanya will contact you.

If you require any other information regarding REF 2021, please contact Dr Diana Leighton, Head of Research Excellence & Research Strategy (


Please click the following links for  ‘LJMU Code of Practice’ and national ‘Guidance on submissions’, paragraphs 117-122).


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