Like Dave Toke (Letters, July 29), we too wish to combat age discrimination in the research assessment exercise. Departments told us that previous RAE criteria discouraged the appointment of early-career researchers without a full set of research outputs to academic posts.
That was not healthy for either the universities or the engineering profession. In the RAE 2008, engineering and other subject panels have simply said that, where relevant, they will view research outputs and esteem indicators in the context of the career stage of the individual.
This is intended to ensure that the contributions of those new to the profession can be assessed fairly alongside the work of more experienced colleagues.
A. P. Dowling, chairman, Panel G - engineering, RAE 2008