Make the next REF an incentive for long-term employment, not short-term exploitation

More and more university lecturers and researchers are now employed on short-term contracts that force them to spend huge amounts of time looking for their next job and to move constantly from one place to another. Among the many ways these people are exploited is that universities hire them on short-term contracts just before the REF; now, when we are reacting to the REF results, it is easy to forget that some of the people responsible for certain universities’ success have already lost their jobs at those universities.

The next REF should give universities an incentive to employ staff on longer-term contracts, by weighting submissions so that a researcher on a long-term contract is worth more than the same researcher on a short-term contract. (For details of this plan, see We call upon HEFCE to implement such an incentive.

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