Research Excellence Framework 2014

Research Excellence

The Research Excellence Framework is a national exercise to account for the quality of University research and identify and celebrate research excellence wherever it is found.

Between the last assessment in 2008, and the results of the 2014 REF the percentage of research submitted from our University that has been judged to be of at least "international" recognition has risen from 67% to 75%. While this reflects a trend across the sector, it is notable that we have achieved this while also more than doubling our disciplinary footprint from four units of assessment (UoAs) in 2008 to ten in 2014. In addition, we have more than doubled the number of our staff submitted - from 47 (42.7FTE) in 2008 to 119 (106.8FTE) in 2014. In other words, 24% of our academic staff FTE were submitted in 2014 as compared with only 9% in 2008.

In relation to what was a new assessment criterion of "research impact", given that our University Corporate Strategy is focused on Inspiration, Innovation and Impact, it was particularly pleasing that six of our units of assessment – General Engineering; Business and Management Studies; Law; Art and Design; Communication, Culture, Media, Library and Information Management; and Psychology, Psychiatry and Neuroscience - had 100% of their research "impact" recognised as being "considerable" or above, with 40% of our Psychology research judged to have "outstanding" impact.

Some of our newly entered areas have done particularly well. Thus in Computing and Informatics, 95% of the submitted research "output" was judged to be of "international" recognition or higher. The appearance of a new Earth Sytems and Environmental Sciences REF profile alongside our established one in the Biological Sciences will help to reinforce a growing regional and national understanding that our student offer and our broader investments and developments in STEM and innovation are informed by research of at least international recognition.  

The new REF profile from Education lays a foundation for the development of our new Institute of Education in a clearly research-informed way. The 21% "world-leading" published output of colleagues from across the humanities and social sciences contributing to what was our largest UoA - in Communications, Culture, Media, Library and Information Management - is a clear signal of the inspirational quality to which University of Derby students are directly exposed.