A UK-wide research assessment of higher education institutions has placed Queen’s University in the top 20 for research quality and impact. It also confirmed that over 75 per cent of its researchers are undertaking world-class or internationally leading research.
The ‘Research Excellence Framework,’ which assesses the quality and impact of UK higher education institutions’ research, is also used to allocate £2 billion in research funding across the UK.
With over 95 per cent of Queen’s academic staff returned for assessment, the University has 14 subject areas ranked within the UK’s top 20 and 76 per cent of its research classified in the top two categories of world leading and internationally excellent.
Vice-Chancellor Professor Patrick Johnston said: “I am delighted with today’s announcement and I would pay tribute to all the hard work of my colleagues that has resulted in this excellent result. Queen’s University has continued to make substantial progress since the 2008 assessment exercise, with the majority of research areas demonstrating significant improvement.
“It is particularly satisfying that the 2014 Research Excellence Framework (REF) has highlighted the depth of quality of Queen’s research across the whole university. Whether it is in food security, pharmacy, health, modern languages, cyber security, education or history, Queen’s research has performed magnificently.
“Through the introduction of the new ‘impact’ measure, REF 2014 has recognised Queen’s as one of the top UK research-intensive universities. Queen’s impacts right across our society by creating jobs, informing government policy and developing new treatments for many of the world’s most chronic illnesses, protecting children and creating new technology. Through its global research excellence, Queen’s is having a real and meaningful impact on society by improving people’s lives, and not just in Northern Ireland, but right across the world.
“Research at Queen’s also makes a huge contribution to the local economy through creating new technologies and new companies and delivering real benefit to our non-academic partners. By working alongside major businesses such as Seagate, Bombardier, Wrightbus, FG Wilson, Randox and Almac, Queen’s research is applied to market challenges and ‘real world’ projects.
“Queen’s University is on a journey to become a powerhouse of world-class research in all that it does and it is very satisfying to see that over three quarters of research at this institution is already deemed to be internationally excellent or world leading. This is a great platform from which to build a world-class research institution that is globally competitive.”
The purpose of REF is to assess the quality and impact of the University’s research in order to inform research funding allocations (approximately £2 billion per annum); provide accountability for public funding of research and demonstrate its benefits; and to provide benchmarks and reputational yardsticks.