Time to celebrate world-leading, internationally excellent quality of UON research

Date 12.05.2022

The Research Excellence Framework (REF) results are published today (12 May) – with UON increasing the percentage of its research assessed to be ‘world leading’ or ‘internationally excellent’.

The REF is the UK’s national system for assessing the quality of research in universities and was last completed in 2014. The latest exercise – known as REF2021 – was delayed due to the pandemic.

Dr Cathy Smith, UON Dean of Research, Impact and Innovation said: “Today’s results show the University of Northampton has made significant progress in building and developing its research base, with the total percentage of research outputs to be ‘world-leading’ (4*) and ‘internationally excellent’ (3*) rising from 30.7 per cent in 2014 to 41.7 per cent in REF2021. The University submitted research from more staff and more subject areas – known as units of assessment.”

Vice Chancellor Nick Petford added: “The results of the REF demonstrate the quality and breadth of research at UON is increasing. We have produced some excellent research and we also know the direction we must travel to ensure this momentum is maintained and built upon.

“We have a clear ambition to expand our research capacity by setting sustainable and realistic goals. Critical to our mission remains a commitment to produce research that has social impact, including a stronger commitment to equality and research that aligns with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.”

The units of assessment UON submitted to REF2021 were:

You can see UON’s overall results on the REF website.

UON’s REF2021 submission included 24 impact case studies which showcase the reach and significance of some of the world-leading research that is undertaken at the University. These impact case studies came from Faculty and Institute academics and can be accessed on the website.

The results of the REF are available at www.ref.ac.uk.