Council of University Classical Departments | CUCD

REF 2021 and beyond


The REF Sub-panel 29 Classics Report

The release of the REF 2021 results was followed on 18 May 2022 by the publication of the overview reports for Main Panel D and Sub-panel 29 Classics. These reports offer detailed information on the assessment process and its outcomes. The Classics report comments additionally on the profile of submissions to it and on the general characteristics of the environment statements, impact case studies and outputs it assessed. It also offers some reflection on the status of Classics research in the UK (on the basis of what was submitted to it). These reports may be of use to colleagues for the future.

The Classics overview report concludes (paras 66-69):

Sub-panel 29 has assessed high-quality research that embraces vast sweeps of time (from pre-history to the present), of geography (from the UK and Europe to Africa, Asia and the Americas), of approach (from textual criticism to cognitive psychology), and of primary sources analysed (from pottery to social media networks). This UK-based research is demonstrably in partnership with, and often leads, Classics in the rest of the world and engages with diverse non-academic communities locally and globally.

Sub-panel 29 welcomes the increased inclusion of, and support for, PGRs and ECRs in shaping the future of Classics research. But more attention to EDI is still needed in the recruitment and sustained support of staff, especially as the pandemic will have long-term and unequal effects on their ability to do research.

Classics research has clearly expanded during this REF cycle. Staff increases were reported across a majority of the units submitted to Sub-panel 29. It is gratifying to see that medium-sized units have had the opportunity to excel under the revised terms of this exercise and that the vitality of Classics is manifest across all the units that submitted to Sub-panel 29. Equally encouragingly, Classics research can also be found within more than 20 units that were submitted to other sub-panels by both pre- and post-1992 HEIs.

The growth and vitality of Classics is especially impressive given that the circumstances for producing Arts & Humanities research and impact have never been so difficult. The future sustainability of our discipline, however, depends on structural and financial security and support.

The full reports can be found at this link:

SP 29 Classics on pp. 113-30

MPD Overview report on pp. 3-47

The Institute of Classical Studies is hosting a webinar on 14 June to consider this report: For colleagues unable to attend, the SP Chair will write up a summary afterwards for posting in the CUCD Bulletin.

Maria Wyke (Chair) and Barbara Borg (Deputy Chair),

And on behalf of all the members of Sub-panel 29