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REF 2021

Lancaster University’s REF 2021 results confirm our position as delivering world-quality research.

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New evidence highlights outstanding quality of Lancaster research.

91% of Lancaster's research has been independently rated as 'internationally excellent' or 'world leading' with 46% rated in the highest category of 4*.

The 2021 Research Excellence Framework (REF) assesses the quality and impact of research in UK universities across all subjects.

Lancaster is 21st overall out of 157 institutions ranked by Times Higher Education. This places Lancaster above eight Russell Group universities for research quality.

The results combine with Lancaster's strengths in teaching and investment in the student experience to reflect our distinctive university community, able to excel in teaching and research.

Lancaster's research environment

REF 2021 rated 99% of Lancaster's overall research environment as 4* 'world leading' or 3* 'internationally excellent'.

This includes support and training of research students, research integrity, equality and diversity, as well as facilities available to support research.

Lancaster’s REF 2021 results confirm our position as delivering world-quality research at the same time as a best-in-class student experience. We have sustained our excellence in research as we have grown in scale with more than 50% more staff submitted than in 2014. We have doubled our grant capture over that time too. Our excellence is revealed right across the disciplinary mix and enables us to create impact as we bring research communities together to deliver answers to complex problems.

A quote from Professor Andy Schofield Vice-Chancellor

Key successes

Some important areas of Lancaster’s research are ranked particularly highly.

Mathematics and Statistics

100% of research impact judged to be 'outstanding', 100% of research ranked as 'world-leading' or internationally excellent, and 7th overall in Times Higher Education.

Linguistics

100% of research impact rated 'outstanding' and 100% of research environment rated 'world-leading'.

Lancaster University Management School

100% of research environment rated 'world-leading' and rated no 1 business school in UK for 'research power'.

Faculty of Health and Medicine

100% of research environment rated 'world-leading' and 91% of research rated 'world-leading' or 'internationally excellent'.

Educational Research

100% of research impact rated 'outstanding' and 90% of research rated 'world-leading' or 'internationally excellent'.

Lancaster Environment Centre

ranked 5th in UK for 'research power' with 96% of research rated 'world-leading' or 'internationally excellent' and 83% of research impact rated 'outstanding'.

This is Lancaster: A global research community changing lives

We're proud of our research and the difference it makes locally and around the world. We'd like to introduce you to the fascinating and diverse work we do here, and the incredible people who make it all possible.

REF 2021 logo

About REF 2021

REF 2021 provides a 'census' assessment for the period 2014-2020 of the quality of universities' research in all disciplines, providing accountability for public investment in research.

In total, 157 UK universities participated, submitting over 76,000 academic staff. Submissions included research outputs, examples of the wider benefits of research and evidence about the research environment. This material was assessed by a series of expert panels comprising UK and international researchers, external users of research and experts in interdisciplinary research.

Lancaster University research

Stories from Lancaster's researchers around the world: