the hidden REF

Celebrating all research outputs

The hidden REF is a competition that recognises all research outputs and every role that makes research possible.

In 2020, the hidden REF will accept nominations for contributions to research, the best of which will be recognised in April 2021. The categories in which these outputs are judged will be based on ideas collected from the research community.

Find out more about the hidden REF.

Why do we need the hidden REF?


Research has changed. We rely on many people and many different skills to conduct research.

Recognition of research excellence has not kept pace with changes in research roles.

The hidden REF looks past traditional metrics to reward everyone who contributes to research.

There’s more to research than publications

In the last REF


191,000

research outputs registered

186,000

of these outputs were based on publications

Only 3%

of outputs represented all other contributions made to research

“Research isn’t an individual endeavour. It benefits from all the knowledge that came before it, and must pay its dues to the discoveries still to come.

Neil Chue Hong
Director
Software Sustainability Institute

“Imaging is essential to driving life science research discoveries and requires significant support from many individuals, whose contributions often go unrecognised”

Maddy Parsons
Director
Nikon Imaging Centre@King’s  

“Across the healthcare system, particularly in academia and NHS, data science roles are often classified as support and they are seen as back room staff.”

Georgina Moulton
Health Data Research – UK

“Technical staff make vital contributions to research and innovation, but historically, their input can often go unrecognised. Research is a team sport – it’s critical we recognise the diverse roles and skills that collectively enable excellence.”

Kelly Vere
Director, Technician Commitment

Copyright (c) 2020 the University of Southampton on behalf of the hidden REF