Superb REF results confirm our world class status

For those of you who don’t yet know, I am proud to announce that we have achieved an absolutely superb outcome in the Research Excellence Framework 2014 assessment, the results of which were published recently.

We scored an overall research quality profile of 3.47, with 94% of our research rated as either internationally excellent or world-leading. Within the University of Southampton this was the second highest overall score for quality.

In terms of impact we scored even higher, with top possible scores for all elements, and hold joint first position with Swansea for the impact of our research.

We could only submit four impact case studies to reflect the breadth of our work:

  • Innovative technologies for stroke rehabilitation
  • Organ and tissue donation, supporting the decision makers
  • Transforming follow-up care for cancer survivors
  • Influencing policy and practice in non-medical prescribing

We put our work forward to subpanel three, which encompassed a wide range of subjects and disciplines, including: pharmacy, dentistry, biomedical science, nursing, midwifery and allied health.

Our submission was a single integrated nursing and allied health professional return, which meant competing with very large and strong groups of biomedical scientists, pharmacists and dentists, as well as nurses and allied health professionals. This submission saw us placed third out of 94.

It is very difficult to identify nursing and allied health from other disciplines in this subpanel, but for overall quality we achieved the highest scores compared with other institutions where we know there is a concentration of nursing and allied health.

As a result, we will continue to be looked upon by colleagues and institutions around the country, and indeed the world, as a leading health sciences research institution.

As you may know, we have a highly focused research effort which is fundamentally changing and improving the patient experience, developing innovative solutions to challenging health problems and influencing health policy.

It is fantastic to know that the REF assessment has confirmed the quality and impact of our work here at Health Sciences. After all, our research directly feeds back into the education we offer, and also how we work with NHS partners and other organisations.   The results follow five years of hard work by everyone involved in the Faculty. This is an achievement for everyone, both academics and administrative staff. It takes incredible teamwork to do what we have done.

I am especially proud of how we have brought nursing and allied health together to work jointly on this as a fully integrated and interdisciplinary research effort. These REF results prove that this was the right decision.

Our success sits alongside the University’s REF result, which graded the University overall at 3.15, with 84% of research being of internationally excellent or world-leading quality. This places the University of Southampton, once again, among the top 20 leading UK research institutions.

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