Research Excellence Framework 2021

The Research Excellence Framework (REF) confirms our place as a world-leading university. The results show our research and impact excellence across a broad range of disciplines and demonstrate that our research is having a significant positive impact on lives across the globe.

Research that changes lives

The Research Excellence Framework (REF) 2021 results confirm our research is changing lives and shaping the world we live in.

Our vision is to produce the highest quality research to drive intellectual advances and address global challenges. The REF results demonstrate that we are advancing towards this goal. 

The REF is a retrospective exercise looking back over seven years of incredible research at our University. We鈥檙e proud of everything that our researchers, and those that support our research environment have achieved. But we鈥檙e also excited for the future and the inspiring discoveries we are yet to make.

Our REF results

92 per cent of our research is rated in the highest two categories in the REF 2021, meaning it is classed as world-leading or internationally excellent. The REF results demonstrate our research and impact excellence across a broad range of disciplines and confirm that our research is having a significant positive impact on lives across the globe.

We submitted to 25 different REF units of assessment comprising: 

  • All of our 1,690 independent researchers
  • 3,684 outputs (outputs can include peer-reviewed journal articles and books, as well as other types of research output such as designs and compositions)
  • 114 impact case studies (impact can include examples of improved technologies, public awareness, medical treatments, government policies or structural changes in society locally, nationally and internationally)