Review panel composition and working methods

Panels will be created to balance the workload based on the expected number of submissions in each category, and the ability of a single panel to assess submissions from the categories that have been grouped together. There will be an even number of people on each panel to promote agreement by consensus rather than voting. There will be potential for additional assessors for specific categories which receive large numbers of submissions.

A Hidden REF committee member will be associated with each panel to manage suggestions for composition of panels.

The same criteria for assessment will be applied across all panels with the aim of celebrating and highlighting the diversity of UK research.

Principles of the Hidden REF

  1. To include everyone and everything and leave nothing behind (visibility)
  2. To assess the contribution across  the diversity, richness, and variety of UK research (significance)

All submissions will be celebrated and highlighted as examples of the diversity of the UK research base that is overlooked by traditional research assessment and will be published on the HiddenREF website to raise awareness.

The best example or examples from each panel will be chosen as the winner. The panel has the discretion to award Highly Commended to submissions as they see fit. 

Current proposals for panels

Based on current submissions, the following panels will be assembled. The number and focus of panels may change as we grow closer to the submission deadline and have a better understanding of the distribution of submissions.

Hidden Role Panel


  • Hidden Role

Practices Panel


  • 2. Training materials and courses
  • 5. Enabling access to facilities
  • 7. Standards

Contexts Panel


  • 4. Citizen Science 
  • 6. Community Building 
  • H. Website Content

Communicative Outputs Panel


  • M. Exhibition
  • H. Website Content
  • I. Performance
  • K. Design
  • N. Research Report for external body
  • Q. Digital or Visual Media
  • L. Physical artefact

Applications of Research Panel


  • G. Software
  • P. Devices and Products
  • S. Research Datasets and Databases