Re: Call for nominations for panel members for the Research Excellence Framework 2021

The SMA has been invited to nominate candidates to act as panel members for the forthcoming Research Excellence Framework.

The REF is the system for assessing the quality and impact of research in UK higher education institutions (HEIs). It was first conducted in 2014, and replaced the Research Assessment Exercise (RAE). The REF will be undertaken by the four UK higher education funding bodies: the Higher Education Funding Council for England, the Scottish Funding Council, the Higher Education Funding Council for Wales, and the Department for the Economy, Northern Ireland.

The REF exercise will be completed in 2021 and the results will be used by the four funding bodies to drive their allocations of research funding to HEIs. It will also provide useful benchmarking information and reputational yardsticks, and provide accountability for public investment in research and demonstrate its benefits.

The trustees of the Society for Music Analysis wish to invite current SMA members to nominate panelists. Self-nominations will be accepted. Nominations should be sent to Dr Rebecca Thumpston ( no later than midday on Thursday 30 November 2017.

The funding bodies are seeking nominations of candidates who will act as:

· additional main panel members (with expertise in leading, commissioning or making use of interdisciplinary research, leading research internationally, or senior level experience in the commissioning, use or wider benefits of research)

· sub-panel members and assessors (including practising researchers, individuals with expertise in commissioning, applying or making use of research, and interdisciplinary advisers).

Nominations of individuals who have served previously on REF or Research Assessment Exercise panels, as well as those for whom this would be a new experience, are welcomed. Heads of HEIs may not be nominated as panel members.

Individuals who are nominated will need to confirm that they are willing and able to serve as a panel member, before their names and contact details are put forward. Nominees should also make themselves aware of the provisional timetable and workload implications.  A guide for research users taking part in the REF is available at

The SMA remains committed to promoting equality and diversity in the nominations process. In making nominations, we encourage SMA members to consider a wide range of individuals to cover the full breadth of the Society’s research interests, broadly conceived. We therefore welcome nominations from a diverse range of backgrounds, institution types and geographical regions, and we encourage members to be inclusive in their identification of candidates who meet the role requirements. We particularly welcome nominations of candidates from groups under-represented on assessment panels in REF 2014, including women, people from black and ethnic minority backgrounds, and disabled people.


From the nominations received, the SMA will put forward panelists who best represent the Society’s interests and commitment to theory and analysis as a discipline, while also demonstrating the SMA’s commitment to equality and diversity.

Should you require further information regarding REF panel member nominations, please do not hesitate to contact SMA President, Prof. Julian Horton (

Further information about the REF can be found at