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Future Research Assessment Programme



The Future Research Assessment Programme (FRAP) was launched by the four funding bodies (Research England, Scottish Funding Council, Higher Education Funding Council for Wales, Department for the Economy, Northern Ireland) in May 2021. FRAP was initiated at the request of UK and devolved government ministers and funding bodies and will evaluate REF2021 aiming to explore possible future approaches to the assessment of UK higher education research performance. Further information about the programme can be found here​.


An initial consultation was launched in November 2021 to understand how individuals within the wider research community have been impacted by REF 2021. This survey invited feedback both from an institution and individual perspective and Edinburgh Napier submitted its response on the 26th January 2022. 

Further to this, the funding bodies launched another consultation seeking views on the design of the UK’s future research assessment system.

The consultation include questions to explore:

The purposes of a future exercise

The principles that should guide its development

The assessment criteria and processes

Responses to this consultation will be one of the key inputs that shape the future exercise. They will be considered alongside a range of internal and commissioned evaluations, feedback on the current REF2021 exercise (gathered separately from institutions and individuals), and advice from the programme’s international advisory group. More information on this consultation can be found here

To collate the intuitional response, the REF team collated feedback collated via a range of forums including a number of sessions held in April 2022 where Academic and Research staff were invited to contribute. Edinburgh Napier submitted its response to the second consultation ​on 6th May 2022. 


The outcome of both consultations and the overall result of the FRAP review are due to be published by Spring 2023. 

An update​ has been provided by Research England, outlining revised timescales and initial decisions. 

​The REF team will keep you posted on the developments and outcomes of the Future Research Assessment Programme. Please contact Elaine Lambie​, should you have any questions.