Maternity concession for women academics

Women academics are to be allowed to reduce the amount of research they need to have published when they take maternity leave, the Research Excellence Framework team has announced.

Women academics are to be allowed to reduce the amount of research they need to have published when they take maternity leave, the Research Excellence Framework team has announced.

Usually to be included in the REF an academic must have produced four articles of excellent research. Academics put forward their best pieces and they and their institutions are judged on them. Being included in the REF is important for career progression.

It had previously been suggested that a woman who had fewer than 14 months of maternity leave would not be eligible for any reduction in their REF submission. This 14-month figure would have meant all women who had had one child in the five-year REF cycle and many who had two (academics commonly take six months leave or less per child) would not have had their absence taken into account in any way.

However, the REF team has announced that an overwhelming majority of respondents to the consultation on draft panel criteria for the REF supported the proposal that researchers may reduce the number of outputs in a submission by one, for each period of maternity leave taken during the REF period.

Further details of these arrangements, including arrangements for paternity and adoption leave, will be published in January 2012.





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