QMU’s world leading researcher appointed to UK panel to influence quality of speech research

By Press Office

A world leading speech researcher at Queen Margaret University (QMU) has been appointed to the national body that will influence the quality of language and linguistics research across UK universities.

Jim Scobbie, Professor of Speech and Language Sciences and Director of the Clinical Audiology, Speech and Language Research Centre at QMU has been appointed as a panel member of Research Excellence Framework (REF - Unit of Assessment (UoA) 26  Modern Languages and Linguistics). REF is the UK's system for assessing the excellence of research in higher education institutions. It aims to ensure that UK universities continue to conduct world-class, dynamic and responsible research.

Professor Scobbie’s appointment demonstrates the academic esteem in which he is held amongst his peers in the area of Speech and Language Sciences. It also reflects his international research profile and his leadership of Queen Margaret University’s submission to REF in 2014 (within the area of Modern Languages and Linguistics).

The REF is a critical driver in maintaining the quality, vibrancy and sustainability of UK research. Dr Richard Butt, Deputy Principal at Queen Margaret University, said “Professor Scobbie is among a number of world leading, eminent researchers selected for the highly regarded position of REF Panel Member.  At QMU, research is fundamental  to what  we do  and is integral to the delivery of excellent teaching and knowledge exchange. It also has an extensive reach and significance beyond academia.

“Our researchers are at the forefront of influencing change in society and driving creative and collaborative responses to societal challenges. By continuing to recognise excellent research wherever it is found is the most effective way to ensure university research continues to have global impact and maintains the UK’s international standing as a research nation.”

Professor Scobbie said: “It is an honour to be appointed as a Panel Member and I look forward to developing an assessment framework that recognises both the quality and breadth of research in all its forms.  REF aims to promote a dynamic and internationally competitive university sector that makes, through its research, a major contribution to economic prosperity, national wellbeing and the expansion and dissemination of knowledge.”

Notes to Editor

  1. The REF is the system for assessing the quality of research in UK universities and higher education colleges. The results of the REF drive the allocation of public funding for research. This major exercise is undertaken by the four UK higher education funding bodies. It was first conducted in 2014, replacing the Research Assessment Exercise..
  2. The REF is a process of expert review. Institutions are invited to make submissions in 34 units of assessment (UOAs). The submissions are assessed by an expert sub-panel for each UOA, working under the guidance of four main panels.
  3. The members of the REF panels are appointed by the four UK funding bodies. See detailed information on the roles and recruitment of panels. 

Details of this process can be found in Annex B of the publication ‘Initial decisions on the Research Excellence Framework 2021’ (REF 2017/01)

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