Science and Engineering and the Research Excellence Framework (REF) 2014

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Our University’s academic excellence has been recognised by the Research Excellence Framework (REF) 2014 with 12 areas identified as generating world-leading research.

The results show that we are making a significant impact on economies, societies, the environment and culture in all corners of the globe.

For 2014 our faculty trebled the number of staff submitted and doubled the number of units of assessment to which we submitted.

REF 2014 saw our first submission to unit of assessment 'Biological Sciences’ from members of our Department of Biomedical & Forensic Sciences. We were one of only six post-1992 universities to have our research in biological sciences rated as internationally leading or better.

Our Department of Computing & Technology submitted to unit of assessment 'General Engineering', which was entered into the REF for the first time in this format. Over a third of its research was recognised as internationally excellent.

Members of our Department of Engineering and the Built Environment submitted to two units of assessment. REF 2014 saw our first ever submission to unit of assessment 'Architecture, Built Environment and Planning'. Over 40% of the research outputs in the areas of sustainability, recycling, construction and development, and health and wellbeing were recognised as internationally excellent or world-leading.   

World-leading research from our Department of Life Sciences included providing Government agencies and non-governmental organisations (NGOs) with a toolkit for measuring the financial value of natural spaces, and carrying out Britain’s first online recording project to study the effects of the invasive harlequin ladybird. This has informed conservation policy and helped to promote citizen science. Over 50% of our total life sciences submission was recognised as world-leading or internationally excellent.

Our Department of Psychology quadrupled the number of staff submitted relative to the 2008 Research Assessment Exercise (RAE). Their submissions in the areas of the brain and cognition, and in applied, social and health psychology resulted in over 50% of their work being recognised as internationally excellent or world-leading.

Colleagues in our Department of Vision and Hearing Sciences were recognised for their work to improve eye and healthcare. Their research has directly impacted on healthcare policymakers and professionals, charities and economic analysts around the world. Over 82% of their total submission was recognised as internationally excellent and world-leading.

Full REF 2014 Science and Engineering results

Allied Health Professions, Dentistry, Nursing and Pharmacy (Vision and Hearing Sciences)
10% World Leading (4*)
72% Internationally Excellent (3*)
18% Internationally Recognised (2*)

Psychology, Psychiatry and Neuroscience (Psychology)
7% World Leading (4*)
45% Internationally Excellent (3*)
30% Internationally Recognised (2*)
18% Nationally Recognised (1*)

Biological Sciences  (Biomedical and Forensic Sciences)
25% Internationally Excellent (3*)
39% Internationally Recognised (2*)
20% Nationally Recognised (1*)

General Engineering (Mechanical and Civil Engineering)
34% Internationally Excellent (3*)
60% Internationally Recognised (2*)
6% Nationally Recognised (1*)

Architecture, Built Environment and Planning (Engineering and the Built Environment)
8% World Leading (4*)
21% Internationally Excellent (3*)
45% Internationally Recognised (2*)
26% Nationally Recognised (1*)

Geography, Environmental Studies and Archaeology (Life Sciences)
13% World Leading (4*)
41% Internationally Excellent (3*)

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