Research Excellence Framework

Labs Shot

World-leading Research

The national Research Excellence Framework (REF) is a vital method of assessing the quality of research at British higher education institutions.

With around £2billion worth of funding awarded to UK universities each year by the major research councils, the REF is a key indicator of where funding is focused to maintain an internationally competitive research sector which makes a major contribution to the global economy, wellbeing and expansion of knowledge.

Here at Lincoln our research is changing the world, from developing new medical technologies to preserving rare architectural treasures, the work of Lincoln’s academics and students makes a real difference to society. The quality and breadth of research at the University was highlighted in the national REF 2014, where more than half of the University’s submitted research was rated as internationally excellent or world leading, and where two of our subject centres were rated in the top 10 of all institutions in the UK for the quality of its research outputs. 

“The result of REF 2014 reflects the exceptional quality of the research taking place across our institution. It is a testament to the abilities and efforts of our staff and students. What is particularly pleasing is the sheer variety of world-class research acknowledged to be taking place at Lincoln, ranging from laboratory science, business and management to studies of medieval history.”

Professor Mary Stuart, Vice Chancellor.

World-leading Work at Lincoln

The Research Excellence Framework 2014 – the most recent assessment of higher education research in the UK – highlighted the quality and breadth of research taking place at the University of Lincoln. More than half (53%) of the University’s submitted research was rated as internationally excellent or world leading (3* or 4*). World leading (4*) research was identified in almost every area with 90% of Univeristy of Lincoln research judged to be of an internationally recognised standard or higher (2* or above).

The University was placed in the top ten nationally for the quality of its research outputs in two areas of REF 2014, reflecting substantial investments made in developing science and health research at Lincoln. In the ‘Agriculture, Veterinary and Food Science’ subject area, Lincoln was placed second out of 29 institutions for quality of outputs with a GPA of 3.26. This area drew together Lincoln’s specialisms in Animal Behaviour, Welfare & Cognition; and Evolution and Ecology. In its largest Unit of Assessment, ‘Allied Health Professions, Dentistry, Nursing and Pharmacy’, Lincoln was placed 10th in the UK out of 94 institutions for the quality of outputs with a GPA of 3.18. Research in this area incorporates the work of the Lincoln Institute for Health, a cross-disciplinary group connecting health-related studies spanning laboratory-based science to frontline medical interventions.

Transforming the Way We View the Threat of Flu

The research of Professor Niroshan Siriwardena and his colleagues has helped transform the way the medical profession and the public view the risks and the necessary response to the threat from flu.

Seasonal influenza is directly responsible for around 12,000 excess deaths each year in the UK. People aged over 65 and others with chronic medical conditions like asthma, bronchitis or diabetes are particularly prone to developing complications of flu such as pneumonia but the link between influenza and heart attack or stroke and from these conditions following flu is less well understood.

Lincoln’s Community & Health Research Unit, a key part of the Lincoln Institute for Health, has worked closely with GPs, practice nurses and other primary care professionals to find the best strategies for increasing uptake of the seasonal flu vaccine. Over the past decade, they have identified common obstacles that prevent at-risk groups getting the jab and devised new campaigns to bring them on board.

Their work has raised public and professional awareness about the importance of the seasonal flu vaccine not just in the UK, but across the world. Learn more about Lincoln’s world-leading research in our Research Showcase.