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Research Excellence Framework

We measure up. We're eighth in the UK for research power.

What is the Research Excellence Framework (REF)?

The REF is the system used by the four UK higher education funding bodies to assess research quality in UK universities. Based on the results from this assessment, these organisations then allocate research funding, with roughly £2 billion allocated annually.

The four funding bodies that use the REF are the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE), the Scottish Funding Council (SFC), the Higher Education Funding Council for Wales (HEFCW) and the Department for Employment and Learning, Northern Ireland (DEL).

Our latest REF rankings

The University of Nottingham is ranked eighth in the UK in terms of research power, which measures the quality and quantity of research conducted by an institution.

  • More than 97% of research at the University is recognised internationally, with wide-ranging impacts on society, the economy, health and welfare, culture, public policy and the environment
  • More than 80% of The University of Nottingham research is ranked in the highest categories (world-leading and internationally excellent)
  • In 16 of 29 units we submitted returns for, we feature in the UK top ten by research power

REF top 10

Top 10 universities ranked by research power
2014 rankOrganisation
2 Oxford
3 Cambridge
4 Edinburgh
5 Manchester
6 Kings College London
7 Imperial College London
8 Nottingham
9 Bristol
10 Leeds

Research Excellence Framework website


World-class research at the University of Nottingham

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