Global impact of Exeter’s health, life sciences and environment research recognised in REF 2021

Posted on 12th May 2022

All University of Exeter health, life sciences and environmental research submitted to the UK’s national research assessment has been ranked 100 per cent world-leading or internationally excellent for impact.

The Research Assessment Framework (REF 2021), published today, is conducted by the UK’s higher education assessment funding bodies, and aims to ensure research is world-class, dynamic and responsive.

Universities submit research under a number of different units of assessment. At Exeter, 100 per cent of the research submitted across health, life sciences and environment-related units was ranked as world-leading (4*) or internationally excellent (3*) for impact.

Professor Richard Smith, Deputy Pro-Vice Chancellor at the University of Exeter’s College of Medicine and Health, which submitted researchers spanning across health, life sciences and environment themes, said: “I’m thrilled with this phenomenal outcome.  It has never been more important that our research has tangible benefit, particularly in the key areas of global challenge surrounding health, the life sciences and the environment.  This prestigious UK-wide assessment shows that we are making a meaningful contribution to global improvements, based on robust evidence.”

The University’s College for Medicine and Health submitted research into a wide range of units of assessment under the rigorous REF process, including in psychology, neuroscience and biological sciences. This reflects our highly multidisciplinary approach. In the College’ main units of assessment, key successes included:

Clinical Medicine:

10th in the UK for world-leading and internationally excellent research

93% of research assessed as world-leading or internationally excellent

Public Health, Health Services and Primary Care

11th in the UK for research power

89% of research assessed as world-leading or internationally excellent

Allied Health Professions, Dentistry, Nursing and Pharmacy

Top 20 in the UK for our world-leading and internationally excellent research

92% of research assessed as world-leading or internationally excellent

Earth Systems and Environmental Sciences 

6th in the UK for world-leading research
90% of research assessed as world-leading or internationally excellent

Professor John Campbell, who led on the REF submission for the University of Exeter’s College of Medicine and Health, said: “I’m thrilled with this result, which demonstrates that every one of our staff contributes to improving health and wellbeing across the globe. I would like to extend my sincere and heartfelt thanks to all colleagues whose hard work has made these results possible.”

Find out more about some of our incredible research projects with meaningful impact on our website.

Date: 11 May 2022

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