Skills, assessment and the Hidden REF

Simon Hettrick

6 December 2023 - Science Council policy group, 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

Take... software, for example

Use software

Fundamental to results




Who's writing all this software?







~10,000 RSEs worldwide

Image courtesy Ian Cosden

Greater access to skills


Better research


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

It wasn't all good

  • People were nominated for the wrong reasons

  • It's difficult persuading people that they're in

What's changed?

  1. Do you share our objective to recognise all research roles?

  2. Are you already engaged in broadening recognition?

  3. Would you like to work with us?

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 :

Access these slides:

Skills, assessment and the Hidden REF

By Simon Hettrick

Skills, assessment and the Hidden REF

A talk for the Science Council policy group on the ways in which team research is changing academia, and the ways in which research assessment need to change to catch up.

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