REF2021 results: a truly significant day for our university


May 3rd, 2022

An update from Professor Dame Jessica Corner

Results of the Research Excellence Framework (REF) will be published by Research England on Thursday 12 May 2022.

This will be a truly significant day for our university.

REF assesses research quality and is the mechanism for allocation of government funding for research at Nottingham and at all UK higher education institutions.

REF2021 justifies £2bn of public funding for research nationally per annum.

The publication of results from REF2021 also marks the culmination of hard work by many hundreds of researchers and colleagues across the university over a number of years.

This involved a complex process of data and evidence-gathering to enable our research to be assessed across three criteria:

  1. Quality of research outputs – originality, significance and rigour
  2. Impact of research – its reach and significance
  3. Research environment – our vitality and sustainability

This means we can provide accountability to taxpayers for public investment in our research.

Public funding is essential to our mission of delivering exceptional research. By allowing us to invest in exceptional people and cutting-edge technologies and facilities, it helps us have a transformative impact on lives, here in the UK and across the world.

REF gives us the opportunity to demonstrate the benefits of this investment, to the communities we serve, our funders and to the partners who help translate our discoveries into real-world impact.

It also allows us to further build our reputation as a research institution of international significance and provides benchmarking of our research quality and power against other UK HEIs. This helps us attract and retain exceptional researchers and research students.

None of this would be possible without the dedication of many colleagues, whose hard work over a number of years culminated in our submission to REF in 2021.

I once again offer my sincere thanks to you all.

Informing our research strategy and culture

Our renewed research strategy, including a commitment to building and sustaining a dynamic, supportive research culture, will evolve as we review our REF2021 performance and look ahead to the next research assessment in six or seven years.

A reminder that research culture workshops take place between 16 and 26 May.

Sign up for a research culture workshop

These one-hour, open discussions will explore emerging themes and findings from our research culture survey and help us plan interventions that positively influence our working environment and change how we behave.

Each workshop is open to all colleagues and will be held via Microsoft Teams.

For those yet to take part in our research culture survey, I encourage you to share your insights and experiences.

Finally, following the publication of our results, please look out for a reputational research campaign, inspired by impact case studies submitted to REF2021, which will celebrate the impact of our research on the UK and the world.

My very best wishes

Jessica

Professor Dame Jessica Corner
Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Research and Knowledge Exchange

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