What action do I need to take?
If you are eligible for REF submission you are encouraged to complete the Individual Circumstances Disclosure form at: https://www2.bbk.ac.uk/hr
If further information is required about any circumstances disclosed, you will be contacted by Annette Groark, Head of HR Services or Patricia Crampton, HR Manager, Equalities.
Who will see the information that I provide?
The information that you provide will be seen by the ‘Individual Circumstances Panel’.
HR staff and members of the ‘Individual Circumstances Panel’ handling individual staff circumstances will observe confidentiality and information will be stored securely. Documentation will be stored in HR and data protection principles for storing sensitive data will apply. The information will be kept only as long as will be necessary.
Information provided on the form may be shared externally for the purposes of evidencing any reduction in the number of research outputs:
= For circumstances with a clearly defined reduction in outputs, information will be seen by the relevant REF sub-panel, the REF panel secretariat and the UK funding bodies’ REF team. This will be information about early career researcher status, part-time working, career breaks or secondments, and periods of maternity, additional paternity or adoption leave taken.
= For more complex circumstances, information will be seen only by the REF Equality and Diversity Advisory Panel, the REF Main Panel Chairs and the UK funding bodies’ REF teams. This will be information to explain the impact on your research of circumstances such as disability, ill health, injury, mental health conditions, gender reassignment, caring responsibilities or constraints relating to pregnancy, maternity, breastfeeding, adoption and paternity (in addition to the period of leave taken). This information will not be seen by the REF sub-panel.
All REF panel members, chairs and secretaries are bound by confidentiality requirements, and acceptance of the confidentiality requirements is a condition of their appointment to the role. No information relating to identifiable individuals’ circumstances will be published by the funding bodies’ REF teams. All data collected, stored and processed by the UK funding bodies’ REF teams will be handled in accordance with the Data Protection Act 1998.
The REF Assessment Framework and Guidance on Submissions (available at: www.hefce.ac.uk/research/ref/pubs/2011/02_11/) requires all higher education institutions participating in the REF to ensure appropriate confidentiality in handling individual staff circumstances. [Where joint submissions are made it may be necessary to share the information provided with another institution.]
What if my circumstances change?
Birkbeck recognises that staff circumstances may change between 1 January 2008 and 31 October 2013. If your circumstances change after the submission of this form you can submit another form to advise us of this change. You can download a copy of the form at https://www2.bbk.ac.uk/hr/
HEFCE - Frequently asked questions (FAQ)
HEFCE have developed a set of frequently asked questions which relate to submissions to the REF 2014 process and policy matters. For more information please click into: http://www.ref.ac.uk/faq/