18 December 2014

The Lancaster Environment Centre (LEC) has been ranked third in the UK for the real-world impact of its research.

The 2014 Research Excellence Framework ranked the Lancaster Environment Centre sixth in the country for its vibrant research environment.  This includes the strong support the Centre offers researchers, the opportunities for cross disciplinary research and its excellent links with other research institutions worldwide.

LEC also performed well in the The Times Higher research intensity league table which recognises the proportion of staff which are research active, finishing 6th overall.

The Research Excellence Framework (REF) measures the quality of research conducted in universities and other higher education institutions in the UK against international standards of excellence.

The Environment Centre at Lancaster University was ranked 10th in the country for the percentage of its activities judged to be 4* - or ‘world leading’.

Professor Kevin Jones, Director of the Lancaster Environment Centre, said: “This result confirms LEC is an excellent place to work with a vibrant, supportive interdisciplinary culture that enables us to do research which makes a real difference to the world.

“We are delighted with our top 3 standing in the country for research impact reflecting the breakthroughs we have made across sustainable agriculture, water and social sciences, and chemicals management.  We are also placed in the top 10 for the 4* (world leading) quality of our publications and are amongst the most research intensive departments in the country.

“We look forward to welcoming new colleagues, students and partners to share in our success in the coming years, as we consolidate our standing and reputation for impactful research that contributes societal, economic and policy relevance to our environment.”

Lancaster University’s Environment Centre is one of the largest centres for environmental research in Europe covering Earth and Environmental Science, Conservation, Ecology, Geography and Biological Sciences.

It has forged a reputation for its contribution to solving real world problems including:

  • More ‘crop per drop’ technology helping to secure food production in drought prone regions
  • Increasing resilience and recovery for adults and children affected by natural disasters
  • Increasing yields in global food production through ecological pest control
  • Reducing the global impacts of persistent pollutants and waste
  • Improving flood modelling through pioneering research into uncertainty and risk in environmental modelling.

Lancaster University is ranked 18th in the UK overall for research quality with 82% of research recognised as internationally excellent and world leading.