The funding council must be bored of people moaning about its pesky research assessment exercise. Indeed, rumour has it that the Higher Education Funding Council for England had been trying to rush through its latest consultation on panel criteria - giving academics only the summer holidays to reply. Clearly it hoped that researchers might be too busy applying suncream to voice their concerns. But the panel chairs protested and academics have until the end of September to respond. This could be the perfect way to channel your post-holiday blues.