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Research Excellence Framework (REF)
The Research Excellence Framework (REF) is a system to asses the quality of research in the UK and its impact and application beyond academia. It is the current system for assessing the quality of research in UK higher education institutions and happens every seven years.
Why is it important?
This process maintains transparency and accountability and, sets national benchmarks for allocation of future public funding and investment. The REF assessment process measures:
- The quality of research outputs
- The impact of research beyond academia
- The research environment that supports research
REF 2021 - How did we perform?
Our results of the REF 2021 demonstrated the university’s delivery of high-quality and high impact research.
The REF 2021 results showed that 53% of the university’s submission was rated 3* and 4* and therefore considered internationally excellent or world-leading.
Results were particularly strong for Leeds Beckett in sport and exercise science, leisure and tourism where 89% of the submission was rated 4* or 3*. In the allied health professions, dentistry, nursing and pharmacy unit, 80% of the submission was rated 4* and 3*.
of submissions in sport and exercise science, leisure and tourism were rated 3* or 4*.
of submissions in allied health professions, dentistry, nursing and pharmacy were rated 3* or 4*.
The 2021 results reflect the breadth of the university’s research and our submission included 352 research staff across 15 units of assessment, double the number of staff included in REF 2014.
View the full news story and our REF 2021 submissions below.
How did we perform?
Our REF2014 results clearly evidenced Leeds Beckett's commitment to lead the way in addressing some of the pressing challenges of modern life. We have demonstrated our progress on expanding and enhancing our research base through our institutes and centres, creating a strong and sustainable research environment for our staff and students and evidencing the impact we make through our applied research.
Over a quarter of academic staff at the university submitted work over eleven areas of research, demonstrating the breadth of work taking place here at Leeds Beckett.
In terms of the 'research power' calculation, which accounts for both the quality and the quantity of research, Leeds Beckett came second in the country for Sport and Exercise Science, Leisure and Tourism – up from third in 2008 - with 59% of the research submitted being assessed as world leading or internationally excellent.
We also came in the top ten in the Communication, Culture and Media Studies, Library and Information Management unit.
The university’s results for the Architecture, Built Environment and Planning unit – which it entered for the first time - were also noteworthy, with 37% of its research being rated world leading or internationally excellent.
Every university that intends to submit to REF is required to develop, document and apply a code of practice on the fair and transparent identification of staff with significant responsibility for research; determining who is an independent researcher; and the selection of outputs.
During 2018/19, following wide consultation, our university’s REF 2021 Code of Practice was developed. It was approved by our university’s Academic Board in June 2019 and was then submitted to Research England for final ratification. Confirmation was received from Research England in early November 2019 that our REF 2021 Code of Practice had been approved.
Access our REF 2021 Code of Practice (pdf)