The Research Excellence Framework (REF) is a system for assessing the quality and impact of research in UK universities.

The most recent REF results, published in May 2022, demonstrate ߣߣƵ’s global excellence with 88% of research rated as world leading or internationally excellent.

Results at a glance

  • 88% of research rated world-leading (4*) or internationally excellent (3*)
  • 7th in the UK for Engineering research power
  • 7th in the UK for research impact in Agriculture, Food and Veterinary Science
  • 7th in the UK for research impact in Business and Management

Work from 348 FTE researchers was submitted to the REF 2021. The results compliment ߣߣƵ’s established position as a partner of choice.

As an institution ߣߣƵ also has the second highest income of all UK universities in terms of income per FTE from industry (source: HESA 2019/20 data).

ߣߣƵ’s global research excellence

The University’s research was submitted for REF in three Units of Assessment (UoA):

  • Agriculture, Food and Veterinary Science
  • Business and Management
  • Engineering

ߣߣƵ is well-known throughout the world as a centre for dynamic and pioneering research which is actively applied to industry and societal challenges. In each area, the institution was assessed on the sub-categories of outputs, impact and research environment.

In Agriculture, Food and Veterinary Science, ߣߣƵ saw increases in its Grade Point Average across all sub-categories of assessment and was ranked 7th in the UK for its research impact.

Engineering, which is a new Unit of Assessment in 2021, was ranked 7th in the UK for research power.

Business and Management increased its ranking for research impact, ranked 7th in the UK out of 108 institutions.

About the REF

The REF is undertaken by the four UK higher education funding bodies: Research England, the Scottish Funding Council (SFC), the Higher Education Funding Council for Wales (HEFCW), and the Department for the Economy, Northern Ireland (DfE).

The funding bodies aim to secure the continuation of a world-class, dynamic and responsive research base across the full academic spectrum within UK higher education. The results of the REF are used to inform the allocation of around £2billion of research funding per year. 157 UK universities took part in the most recent REF.