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University of Bradford's world-leading research recognised


The University of Bradford has been ranked 49th in the UK for the quality of its research with three quarters being classed as either world-leading or internationally excellent.

The results, published in the Research Excellence Framework (REF), assess the quality and impact of university research and see the University significantly improve in overall ranking from 62 to 49 in the UK.

The REF replaces the previous Research Assessment Exercise, last conducted in 2008. It places greater emphasis on the impact of research, considered by the REF to be making a major contribution to economic prosperity, national wellbeing and the expansion and dissemination of knowledge.

The REF particularly measures the output – the number and quality of publications - of a university’s research, and the real impact of research based on case studies submitted.

Nearly 40% of Bradford’s impact case studies have been ranked world leading (4*) and almost 90% ranked as world leading (4*) or internationally excellent (3*) combined, putting the University 43rd in the country for the impact of research. The University is also 43rd for the quality of research output.

Almost three-quarters (74%) of the research overall was rated as world leading (4*) or internationally excellent (3*). A further 22% of the University’s research was internationally recognised, meaning that overall 96% was ranked as internationally recognised through to world leading.

The results for Allied Health, Management and Archaeological Science were particularly good. In Allied Health the overall assessment of research placed 92% of it in the 4* and 3* categories, and 100% of the impact and environment in 4* and 3*. Impact was strong in Archaeological Science where 100% was classed as 4* and 3*, 60% in the 4* category. Politics and International Studies also scored 100% for impact across 4* and 3*. Management did particularly well in impact with 87% in the 4* and 3* categories.

Professor Brian Cantor, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Bradford, said: “We pride ourselves on the high quality of our research and knowledge transfer activity. These results underline that excellence and demonstrate Bradford’s continued development as a world-leading, research-intensive university that brings real solutions to issues affecting society and communities worldwide.

“Bradford is fiercely committed to making a difference – producing research that impacts on real-world problems and equipping our graduates to go into the world able to make a significant contribution to society. We are proud of that commitment and delighted to see the excellence and impact of our research recognised.”

Examples of the University's research can be found on our .

Notes to editors

Research Excellence Framework 2014

The four UK higher education funding bodies [Note] allocate about £2 billion per year of research funding to UK universities, based on the quality and volume of each university’s research. They aim to support a dynamic and internationally competitive UK research sector that makes a major contribution to economic prosperity, national wellbeing and the expansion and dissemination of knowledge.

Aims of the Research Excellence Framework

To distribute funds selectively on the basis of quality, the funding bodies assess universities’ research through a periodic exercise. This was previously known as the Research Assessment Exercise (RAE), and was last conducted in 2008.

The 2014 Research Excellence Framework (REF) replaced the RAE. It assessed the quality and impact of research submitted by UK universities across all disciplines. The results will be published in December 2014 and will be used by the funding bodies to allocate block-grant research funding to universities from 2015-16.

As well as informing funding allocations, the REF provides accountability for public investment in research, demonstrates its benefits, and provides important reputational yardsticks and benchmarking information about the research performance of UK universities.

REF2014 key facts

  • 154 UK universities took part. They made 1,911 submissions for:
    • 52,077 academic staff
    • 191,232 research outputs
    • 6,975 impact case studies.
  • 36 expert sub-panels reviewed the submissions, overseen by four main panels
  • around £2 billion per year of research funding will be allocated on the basis of the results.

Note: The four UK funding bodies are: the Higher Education Funding Council for England, Scottish Funding Council, Higher Education Funding Council for Wales, and Department for Education, Northern Ireland.

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