REF 2021 Unconscious Bias Training

Unconscious bias for REF2021 decision making The University of Exeter is committed to the principles of equality, diversity and inclusivity and we are keen to ensure that our processes are transparent and fair. As indicated in our REF2021 Code of Practice, and,as required by the REF Equality and Diversity Advisory Panel, we are providing training to support our decision making. Specifically, we identified the need for unconscious bias training. There will be generic online training on unconscious bias available but these ****-to-**** training sessions will focus on unconscious bias in relation to the Research Excellence Framework (REF) and research assessment. This training is mandatory for all REF2021 decision makers. There will be sessions in July, September and October. All sessions are open to all REF2021 decisions makers. We are especially keen that members of the Eligibility Review Group, Associate Deans of Research and members of the REF team (including the Research Services and Doctoral College Business Partners) attend the sessions in July. This workshop will help participants to understand how unconscious bias and other psychological and behavioural processes can potentially lead to biased decision making in the REF, despite people’s best intentions and firm commitment to being meritocratic and egalitarian. Participants will be introduced to practical, evidence-based approaches for managing and mitigating unconscious bias and for supporting fairer decision making, including considering the role of responsible metrics in outputs selection and decision making. On this workshop participants will: • Learn how UB arises from our cognitive and neurological processes • Understand how UB and stereotyping affects perception, behaviour, and judgement • Gain clarity on why our belief in meritocracy may not work to prevent bias and may even be counter productive • Understand how privilege, advantage and positive people preferences undermine meritocracy in our institutions • Understand what practical, personal and organisation actions can be taken to manage and mitigate bias to support fair decision making.