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Research Excellence Framework 2021 results published


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More than 60 per cent of research at De Montfort University Leicester (DMU) has been judged as world leading or internationally excellent in the Research Excellence Framework (REF) 2021, according to results announced today.

Work from 485 academics across the university was entered into the REF, the UK-wide assessment and expert review into the quality and impact of research conducted in higher education institutions.

This is the largest number ever submitted by DMU and its most inclusive, with more work being featured that was carried out by women and BAME academics.

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Some 40 supporting case studies showcased the breadth and depth of work and the benefits it has had on our lives. This included:

  • Research leading to new support for women with endometriosis, a condition which affects 1.5million women
  • Transforming rural lives in India through smart grids
  • New ways to tackle cyber threats to critical national infrastructure
  • Collaborating with the BBC to celebrate Shakespeare’s 400th anniversary
  • Germ’s Journey, a set of interactive resources to help children learn the importance of hand hygiene. It has been used in countries around the world.

Professor Heather McLaughlin, Pro Vice-Chancellor Research at DMU, said: “We are pleased that more than 60 per cent of DMU’s research has been judged as world leading or internationally excellent.

“DMU’s work has been shown to have impacts on the lives of people and communities, in line with our Empowering University strategy. 

“It is particularly good to see more academic colleagues than ever before be entered into the REF, with our highest ever numbers of women and BAME academics returning their research, many of whom are at the earlier stages of their research careers.

“As a university that strives to empower its students and staff in all that they do, conducting first-rate research is crucial. Not only does high-quality research have an impact and make a difference to people’s lives, it also informs our teaching and improves the quality of education we offer here at DMU.”

Submissions were stringently peer-reviewed by a series of panels, including UK and international experts and external users of research. The amount of 4* and 3* research determines how much the university is given in Government funding.

The announcement of the REF 2021 results coincides with the launch of DMU’s fresh new approach to research last month, which aims to promote interdisciplinary, impactful and inclusive research across five themes:

  • Creative and Heritage Industries
  • Net Zero
  • Living in a Digital Society
  • Lifelong Wellbeing
  • Peace, Equality and Social Justice

The REF results assess research on three main criteria: quality of research outputs, the research environment and the impact of the research being carried out.

Posted on Thursday 12th May 2022

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