Research Excellence Framework

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

The University has gone through two REF assessments and a third is due to take place in 2021. Between our first two assessments, the percentage of research submitted from our University that has been judged to be of at least "international" recognition rose from 67% to 75%. While this reflected a trend across the sector, it was notable that we 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 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.

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. Our University Corporate Strategy is focused on Inspiration, Innovation and Impact.

Certain areas did particularly well in our last REF. In Computing and Informatics, 95% of the submitted research "output" was judged to be of "international" recognition or higher. The Earth Sytems and Environmental Sciences REF profile alongside our established one in the Biological Sciences helps 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.  

Our REF profile from Education laid a foundation for the development of our 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.

As part of the REF process, we are required to pubish our REF2014 Equality Impact Assessment based on final submission data.