Imperial College London has the UK’s highest concentration of “world-leading” and “internationally excellent” research of any major university, according to the Research Excellence Framework (REF) 2014 published today.
The REF found that:
• 91% of Imperial research is classed as “world-leading” (46% achieved the highest possible 4* score, up from 26% in 2008) or “internationally excellent” (44% achieved 3*) – the highest proportion of any major university.
• Imperial research quality has improved significantly from 2008 when the Research Assessment Exercise classed 73% of the College’s research submitted as 4* or 3*.
• On the REF’s new ‘impact’ measure, Imperial’s research is the highest ranked of any major university. Imperial is top or joint-top in the UK for its “outstanding impact in terms of reach and significance” in eight of the 14 research areas to which the College submitted.
• Imperial’s research in the areas of Public Health, Health Services & Primary Care and Civil & Construction Engineering is ranked top in the UK.
• 92% of Imperial’s eligible staff took part in the REF, one of the highest proportions in the sector.
Professor James Stirling CBE FRS, Provost of Imperial College London, said: “These REF results confirm Imperial’s status as one of the world’s great research universities. It is gratifying to see the outstanding work of so many colleagues acknowledged in this way.
“I am especially proud to see that Imperial has improved in each of its Units of Assessment – demonstrating excellence in science, engineering, medicine and business right across the College.
“It is a pleasure to work at a university that has such a profound impact on our society and economy – and for that to be recognised by the REF. From metamaterials to medical engineering, Imperial people are making the world a better place.
“This has been a true team effort. Our exceptional research environment is underpinned by our outstanding early career researchers, including PhD students and postdocs, and enriched by the contributions of our talented and dedicated support staff. Imperial’s appetite for collaboration across disciplines and beyond academia has also contributed to today’s success.
“These results underline the importance of investing scarce research resources where they will have the most impact: in universities with the academic expertise and critical mass to compete on a global stage. Quality Research (QR) funding has played a crucial role in our success, and we hope this valuable support for high-quality research continues.
“The UK has four universities in the world top ten. If we are serious about building a dynamic and innovative economy, we must work and invest to secure this advantage.”
Image credit: Imperial College London / Thomas Angus