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Research Excellence Framework (REF)

About the REF

The Research Excellence Framework (REF) assesses the quality of research in UK Higher Education Institutions, with the aim of providing accountability for public research funding, making available benchmarking information, and driving the allocation of quality-related funding to support UK research.

The deadline for submission to the last exercise, REF 2021, was 31 March 2021. The outcomes will be published in April 2022.

REF assesses the quality of research outputs, from journal papers to art exhibitions and everything in between, the impact of research on industry, public services, civic society and the general public, and each university's research environment.

Submissions to REF are peer-assessed by panels for thirty-four subject-based Units of Assessment (UoAs), working under four main panels. Further information can be found on the REF 2021 website.

REF 2021

The University submitted to five UoAs:

  • Allied Health Professions, Dentistry, Nursing and Pharmacy
  • Art and Design: History, Practice and Theory
  • Engineering
  • Psychology, Psychiatry and Neuroscience
  • Social Work and Social Policy

Our Code of Practice outlines the processes we used to prepare our submission, specifically: how staff with significant responsibility for research were identified; how research independence was determined; and how outputs were selected for submission. The final Code of Practice was submitted to Research England in November 2020.
Code of Practice.