The Research Excellence Framework (REF) is the UK’s system for assessing the quality of research in UK higher education institutions (HEIs), with the most recent REF exercise being completed by HEIs in March 2021.
The main purpose of the REF is to:
- provide accountability for public investment in research
- provide benchmarking information and establish reputational yardsticks
- inform the selective allocation of funding for research.
The eagerly anticipated results across the sector have now been made public on the central REF website at www.ref.ac.uk.
University of Salford REF2021 results
The REF2021 results confirm the excellence of the research carried out at Salford with 78% of our research rated as being world-leading or internationally excellent.
The league table showing institutional performance, published by the Times Higher Education today in response to REF, has placed us at 65th in the UK in terms of research quality, an impressive 22 place jump up from 87.
- In five unit submissions our research impact was rated as 100% outstanding or very considerable in terms of reach and significance;
- Our highest performing submission for ‘outputs’ was Area Studies with 44% rated as world-leading and overall 94% rated as world-leading or internationally excellent;
- Our highest performing submission for ‘impact’ was Social Work & Social Policy with 75% of impact rated as world-leading and overall 100% of impact rated as world-leading or internationally excellent;
- Our highest performing submission for ‘environment’ was Architecture, Built Environment and Planning with 63% of the environment rated as world-leading and overall 100% of the environment rated as world-leading or internationally excellent.
An important aspect of performance measured by sector league tables is the grade point average (GPA). Compared to REF2014 we have seen the following notable improvements:
- Our overall institutional GPA has increased from 2.54 to 3.0;
- GPA for both ‘outputs’ and ‘impact’ has increased in 10 of 11 of our submissions and our ‘environment’ GPA has increased in 7 submissions;
- The biggest improvement across our submission has been our ‘impact’ GPA for Engineering, which has increased from 1.6 to 3.33, and is now in line with the sector average for this unit of assessment;
- Our largest unit of assessment, Allied Health, Dentistry, Nursing and Pharmacy, which represents over one quarter of our institutional submission, has improved its rating in all three aspects of the submission from 2.63 to 3.01 overall.
Over the coming weeks our Research with Impact pages will feature some key information relating specifically to the ‘impact’ element of the REF results. This includes:
- Short videos from some of our REF2021 impact case study leads explaining the way in which their research generated real-world impact
- A podcast series featuring some of our other REF2021 impact case study leads discussing their research projects and associated impacts
- Links to Q&As from both professional support and academic staff providing further insight into the excellent research and impact generated at the University.
To find out more about how our research is making a difference in the world, go to the Menu page here at https://blogs.salford.ac.uk/research/
To uncover more about how our impact compares to the rest of the HE sector, go to www.ref.ac.uk