Quality consideration 2

October 20, 2006

Gill Howie is right to raise the question of equal opportunities in relation to the future assessment of research ("Government models 'disastrous'", October 13). It is not the Equality Challenge Unit's function to comment on the models proposed, but it has worked closely with the 2008 research assessment exercise team to embed equality considerations into the exercise, which has resulted in some standardisation of equal opportunities processes, both across panels and within institutions.

As the distribution of research funding is, ultimately, a function of the Department for Education and Skills, which has a legal obligation to promote race, disability and gender equality, we would expect the DfES to undertake an equality impact assessment.

Erica Halvorsen
Equality Challenge Unit

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