Research Excellence Framework

The REF is the UK’s system for assessing the quality of research in UK higher education institutions. The most recent exercise took place in 2014 and the next REF will take place in 2021. The Purpose of the REF is to secure the continuation of a world-class, dynamic and responsive research base across the full academic spectrum within UK higher education sector.


The assessment outcomes provide benchmarking information and establish reputational yardsticks for use within the higher education sector and for public information. The REF assesses research excellence through a process of discipline-based expert review, informed by appropriate quantitative indicators.

The results of REF inform the distribution of the quality-related (QR) grant distribution from the Higher Education Funding Councils. DMU will be building on its previous REF experience to support its strategic aims in increasing the level of research and establishing DMU in the top 400 of international research Universities. 

Our submission to REF 2021 will reflect the diverse range of interests, high quality outputs and significant impact that our researchers have generated over the REF period of six years.

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DMU research news

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Mission and vision

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