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We are currently seeking expressions of interest for a senior academic to lead the MPLS Divisional submission to REF 2029. 

The Research Excellence Framework provides an independent assessment of the University’s research quality. Our performance in the REF determines the magnitude of our Quality Related (QR) income from Research England for the next 7 years, and is currently £80m pa, which is distributed directly to departments in proportion to their assessed research quality within a discipline-based Unit of Assessment (UOA). 

Submissions are assessed by an expert sub-panel for each UOA, working under the guidance of four main panels. This role will cover Oxford's submission to UOAs falling under Main Panel B: 'Physical Sciences, Engineering, and Mathematics'. This comprises of six units of assessment: 

  • UOA 7: Earth Systems and Environmental Sciences
  • UOA 8: Chemistry
  • UOA 9: Physics
  • UOA 10: Mathematical Sciences
  • UOA 11: Computer Science and Informatics
  • UOA 12: Engineering

Supported by a team in the divisional office, you will provide leadership and support to the UOA Leads in departments. You will chair regular group meetings and will meet with UOA Teams individually to monitor progress towards agreed divisional milestones. You will also represent the MPLS Division at REF Project Board and report regularly to MPLS GPC. You will be required to attend relevant University meetings and training on REF preparations, and to chair and lead meetings to engage with external advisors. 

The role will commence in April 2024. The exercise will be submitted in November 2028 and results will be expected in late 2029. The role will continue beyond this to cover results evaluation and lessons learned. The time commitment will increase as the deadline for submission approaches. 

Please see the role description for further details.

Approximate time commitment:

Up to publication of draft guidance (expected Autumn 2024): up to 2 hrs per week;

Submission development stage (Autumn 2024–Nov 2027): up to half a day per week;

Final year prior to submission (Nov 2027–Nov 2028):  up to 1 day per week;

Assessment phase (Nov 2028–Nov 2029): occasional input on audit queries at short notice.

Results analysis (Nov 2029 onwards): occasional input at University/Divisional committees


The time commitment and responsibility of this post will be recognised through one of, responsibility allowance, sabbatical entitlement or teaching buy-out following discussion with successful candidates by division and relevant departments. 

How to Apply:

To apply, please submit a brief Expression of Interest (maximum 500 words) with your CV, by email in confidence, to Dr Tracy Gale, Divisional Registrar at, no later than 15th March 2024.

For an informal discussion about the role, please feel free to contact Rosie Collins at

EOIs will be reviewed by a small panel chaired by the MPLS Head of Division Professor Jim Naismith and shortlisted candidates will be invited to interview in March/April (date to be confirmed).