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University of Bristol: world-leading with global impact

18 December 2014

The Research Excellence Framework (REF) 2014 has ranked the University of Bristol among the UK's top research universities. Their research is shown to have top quality and major impact on society and the economy, according to this assessment of research at every UK university. REF2014 will decide how around £2 billion in research funding will be allocated each year from 2015-16.

Thirty-six per cent of the University's research received the top 4* rating, defined by the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) as 'world-leading'. This is six per cent above the sector average and twice the level the University achieved in the Research Assessment Exercise (RAE) 2008, placing Bristol tenth in the Russell Group.

Geography at Bristol has consolidated its position at the top of the UK rankings. Other research areas in which the University has achieved particular distinction include: public health, health services and primary care; earth sciences; chemistry; mathematical sciences; and sport and exercise sciences.

The University has ten impact submissions ranked in the top five in the Russell Group. Four of these achieved 100 per cent world-leading 4* impact: clinical medicine; public health, health services and primary care; economics and econometrics; and sport and exercise sciences. Eighteen of the University's 31 submissions are in the Russell Group top ten by 4* impact including submissions from across all six faculties, underlining the range of the impact of the University's research across a wide range of disciplines.

Over 91 per cent of eligible staff at Bristol were included in the University's REF submission - indicating Bristol has among the highest research intensity in the sector, coupled with a strong and diverse quality profile.

Professor Sir Eric Thomas, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Bristol said: "These results underline the outstanding quality of the world-class research carried out at Bristol. It is particularly pleasing to see the high quality reflected across the broad disciplinary base for which Bristol is known, whereby 83 per cent of our research is rated as 'world-leading' or 'internationally excellent'.

"It is also of note that we purposefully chose to enter a high proportion of staff which reflects our research intensive ethos and the role this plays across our diverse research communities and in enriching our students' educational experience.

"The impact of our research is clear, benefiting society and the UK economy, with almost 60 per cent of our submissions achieving world-leading, 4*, impact.

"These outstanding results, coupled with current major successes in attracting research funding, reflect well on our research prowess as well as on the future strength of our position as a global, research intensive institution.

"I would like to thank all colleagues involved for this significant achievement."

Summary information about Bristol University's REF2014 results is available at

Further information about the national REF2014 results is available at

University of Bristol: world-leading with global impact
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