Published date: 12 November 2021

Last edited date: 1 December 2021

This notice was replaced on 28 February 2022

This notice does not contain the most up-to-date information about this procurement. The most recent notice is:

Awarded contract (published 28 February 2022)

Closed opportunity - This means that the contract is currently closed. The buying department may be considering suppliers that have already applied, or no suitable offers were made.

Contract summary


  • Research and experimental development services - 73100000

  • Research and development consultancy services - 73200000

  • Design and execution of research and development - 73300000

Location of contract


Value of contract

£0 to £150,000

Procurement reference


Published date

12 November 2021

Closing date

13 December 2021

Closing time


Contract start date

17 January 2022

Contract end date

29 July 2022

Contract type

Service contract

Procedure type

Open procedure (below threshold)

Any interested supplier may submit a tender in response to an opportunity notice.

This procedure can be used for procurements below the relevant contract value threshold.

Contract is suitable for SMEs?


Contract is suitable for VCSEs?



The final date and time for the submission of bids is Monday 13th December 2021 at 11:00 GMT

DO NOT apply directly to the buyer.

All tender information MUST be submitted through the Delta eSourcing Portal.

Brief Description of Requirement

The Future Research Assessment Programme has been initiated at the request of UK and devolved government ministers and funding bodies. This significant piece of work will be led by the four UK higher education funding bodies (Research England, Scottish Funding Council, Higher Education Funding Council for Wales and Department for the Economy, NI) and aims to explore possible approaches to the assessment of UK higher education research performance.

One strand of work will look at the responsible uses of technology-assisted approaches such as artificial-intelligence, machine-learning or metric-driven approaches in research assessment. This will enable the project to investigate possible different approaches to the evaluation of UK higher education research performance, which can encourage and strengthen the emphasis on delivering excellent research and impact, support a positive research culture, while simplifying and reducing the administrative burden on the HE sector.

To meet this requirement the project shall involve a comprehensive literature review of technology assisted approaches to research assessment, will utilise scores produced from the REF2021 exercise to test experimental approaches, and verify the feasibility of using such approaches responsibly in future research assessment exercises while maintaining the principles of fairness, equality and transparency.

The primary aim of this piece of work is to review applicable approaches to technology-assisted research assessment and to understand the feasibility of utilising such approaches in supporting the REF and possible future research assessment exercises.

Please ensure you review all attached information to ensure a full understanding of this requirement. All attachments can be found with the Document Uploads tab within the Delta eSourcing Portal.

This contract will be awarded based on the evaluation criteria as set out in the ITQ document.

How to Apply

UK Shared Business Services Ltd (UK SBS) will be using the Delta eSourcing Portal for this procurement.

To register on the Delta eSourcing portal please use the link and follow the instructions to register.

If you are already registered on the Delta eSourcing Portal and wish to participate in this procurement, please use the link: and the follow the instructions to 'Log in'

Once you are logged into the system you will be able to link yourself into this procurement using the Access Code: XFR5DR8DFV

More information


Additional text


All submissions will be assessed in accordance with the Public Procurement Regulations that apply to this opportunity.

Responses must be received by the date and time in the tender documentation; responses received outside of the deadline or not sent via the Delta eSourcing portal will not be accepted or considered by the Contracting Authority further for this opportunity. Interested organisations should ensure that they allow a sufficiency of time, prior to the deadline to allow all sections to be completed in full and any attachments to be uploaded.

As a user of the Delta eSourcing Portal you will have access to the Delta messaging service which facilitates all messages sent to you and from you, as well as other messages and updates in relation to any specific tender event. Please note that any and all information secured outside of the messaging service, shall have no merit or worth and should not be relied upon by any organisation submitting a tender response.

Please note it is your organisations responsibility to access these messages on a regular basis to ensure you have sight of all relevant information applicable to this opportunity.

The Contracting Authority expressly reserves the right:
i. not to award any contract as a result of the procurement process commenced by publication of this notice; and

ii. to make whatever changes it may see fit to the content and structure of the procurement; and under no circumstances as part of your organisations participation in this opportunity, will the Contracting Authority be liable for any costs incurred by any organisation as a result. If the Contracting Authority decides to enter into a contract with any successful organisation(s), this does not mean that there is any guarantee of subsequent contracts being awarded. Any expenditure, work or effort undertaken prior to contract award is accordingly a matter solely for the commercial judgement of your organisation in doing so.

About UK Shared Business Services

UK Shared Business Services Ltd (UK SBS) brings a commercial attitude to the public sector; helping our contracting authorities to improve efficiency, generate savings and modernise.

Where UK SBS is not named as the Contracting Authority within the documentation, UK SBS will be acting as an agent on behalf of the Contracting Authority.

Our broad range of expert services is shared by our customers. This allows our customers the freedom to focus resources on core activities; innovating and transforming their own organisations.

For full details of our partner base please review the following link:

About the buyer

Contact name

Joe Wightman


Polaris House, North Star Avenue