Sheffield universities research efforts rated highly

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Researchers at Sheffield’s universities are celebrating after their academic work achieved high ratings in the latest Research Excellence Framework.

The REF assesses the quality and impact of research submitted by UK universities across all disciplines and decides how much research funding they receive.

The 2014 league tables ranked The University of Sheffield in 12th place, putting it the top ten per cent of all UK universities.

In total 86 per cent of the research submitted by the university’s staff was awarded either the highest 4* rating of ‘world leading’, or the second highest 3* rating of ‘internationally excellent’.

The university was one of only three in the country to make 35, or more, submissions in different subject areas.

Its submission for biomedical sciences, including staff from the faculties of both science and medicine, achieved particularly outstanding results, coming top in the UK in its unit of assessment for subjects allied to healthcare.

Commenting on the results, the pro-vice chancellor for research and innovation at the university, professor Richard Jones, said: “The REF is a rigorous assessment process that has demonstrated just how powerful the UK’s university research base is, and the University of Sheffield is proud to have been judged to be a very strong player in that system.

“The results really confirm the quality of what we are doing in the university, right across all faculties and disciplines. They are very strong results, and it is particularly gratifying to see that in every discipline there is a high fraction of work judged to be of the highest international quality.”

The results for Sheffield Hallam University revealed 65 per cent of its submitted research received the prestigious 4* and 3* ratings.

The university moved up 25 places in the national research league tables, to the 65th position, placing it in the top five of all UK modern universities.

Work submitted by Hallam included research which revealed the depth of economic and social deprivation across the UK; the positive impact of midwife-led care; and innovative maps to give blind and partially sighted people greater independence.

Professor Paul Harrison, pro-vice chancellor for research at Sheffield Hallam, said: “These fantastic results are yet further evidence that world-class research exists across the UK’s universities, and not least in modern institutions like Sheffield Hallam University.

“At Sheffield Hallam, our research is internationally excellent, wide ranging and highly applied, touching people’s lives and having a positive impact on society.”