The Hidden REF:

Celebrating everyone that makes research possible 

Simon Hettrick

15 May 2024 - Open Research Conversation, online -  @sjh5000     ORCID: 0000-0002-6809-5195

If we don't recognise the people who are vital to research,

we limit our ability to conduct research

Use software

Fundamental to results




Who's writing all the software?

~10,000 RSEs worldwide

Image courtesy Ian Cosden

Greater access to skills


Better research



People who are

vital to research

People who are named in publications


RSEs, Technicians,

Librarians, Data

Stewards, PRISMS,

RMAs... and more


The Venn of academic importance and recognition

Recognising all research outputs and every role that makes research possible

  • Training materials and courses
  • Grimpact
  • Citizen science
  • Enabling access to facilities
  • Community building
  • Standards

New categories

The Hidden Role

CC-BY William Murphy 

Data stewards and managers, Librarians, Technicians, Lived Experience Contributors (including patients), Research Software Engineers, PRISMS (Professional Research Investment and Strategy Managers), Professional Services Personnel, Public Engagement Professionals (PEPs), RMAs (Research Managers and Administrators) and Clinical Trials Managers.

120 submissions in total

Join us on Slack:

Hidden REF 2024

Submissions open 27 May

Submission deadline 13 September

What next?

How many senior academics does it take to change a lightbulb?

What do you mean CHANGE?!

If we recognise the people who are vital to research,

we increase our ability to conduct research


To change research culture, we need your help

                  James Baker                     Lyndsey Ballantyne                           Simon Hettrick                            Neil Chue Hong      

              Gemma Derrick                         Gemma Fletcher                       Jude Fransman                                Emma Karoune

                                          Kirsty Pringle                              Simon Kerridge                           Tony Roche                      

Thank you!


ORCID: 0000-0002-6809-5195, EPSRC Grant no: EP/S021779/1


 © Simon Hettrick. These slides are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International :

Link to slides

Image credits

  • Webb telescope star image: public domain with thanks to NASA and STScI

Open Research Conversations 2024

By Simon Hettrick

Open Research Conversations 2024

Presentation on the Hidden REF for Open Research Conversation at the University of Sheffield.

  • 77