August 11, 2008

Research Assessment Exercise: Guidance on producing equality profiles

Under RAE 03/2005, institutions were instructed to provide an equality profile of staff who are eligible for submission to the RAE, and indicate those who are submitted and those who are not.

Under equality legislation , institutions are required to monitor the progression of their staff according to racial group, disability status and gender. In addition, HEIs are encouraged to submit the work of all their excellent researchers, including those whose volume of research output has been limited for reasons covered by equal opportunities guidelines, for example disability or absence from work due to maternity leave.

Equality profiles, therefore, provide the evidence base necessary to identify differential submission to the RAE with regard to different equality groups. If any apparent imbalance is found relative to the total potential pool, then the HEI may be required to account for it, and to provide objective, non-discriminatory reasons for the impact, taking into account the factors above.

In order to meet their obligations under equality legislation, HEIs must monitor the submission of eligible staff to the RAE according to race, disability status and gender. They must therefore collect statistics in these three regards for the group of eligible staff and for those selected. ‘Eligible staff’ in this case refers to all academic staff, whose contract lists research and/or teaching as their primary function.

From: Equality Challenge Unit

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