City Research influences and inspires
  1. Research impact
  2. Statistics and facts
  3. Research areas and groups
  4. City's research strategy
  5. Research integrity
  6. Ethics
  1. REF results

High quality research at City – our REF results

City’s researchers produce world leading and internationally excellent research, as measured by the Research Excellence Framework (REF). The results of REF2014, which assessed research quality at all UK higher education research institutions, showed City making significant progress compared to the previous exercise in 2008. Now we are building towards even better results for REF 2021.

Excellent research, from excellent staff

The results of REF2014, published by HEFCE (now UKRI) in December 2014, found:

  • 75.7% of City research rated as world leading 4* (23.3%) and internationally excellent 3* (52.4%) quality (based on City's submission to the REF).
  • A marked increase in research quality compared to the 2008 Research Assessment Exercise (RAE)   when 51% of research at City was rated as 4* (15%) and 3* (36%)
  • 40% of City research staff rated as excellent (eligible academy staff producing 4* and 3* research), vs 25% in RAE2008
  • Excellence across City Schools, with ratings of4* or 3* for more than 50% of research in each of the 12 Units of Assessment where City submitted.
  • City's performance now puts it at 50th of the 154 institutions reviewed.

REF2014 assessed the 1,592 academic outputs (such as journal articles) and 49 impact case studies submitted for City from 378 staff (FTE) in 12 Units of Assessment. 53% of our eligible academic staff submitted, compared to 49% in RAE2008.

Influential research, from our world leading experts

Research that’s high quality, across a broad range of areas, and making a positive impact to society is vital to our University. It helps us build a better education for our students, secure research funding for our academic staff, and contribute to the wider world outside the university.

"City is committed to academic excellence and the original thinking that advances knowledge and changes lives. We produce research that is recognised throughout the world for its quality, its relevance to contemporary intellectual challenges and its influence on the future agendas of academics, business leaders and policy makers. Maximising the impact and relevance of our work in ways that are useful to the wider economy, cultural life, public services and policy-making is at the heart of what we do."
Professor Sir Paul Curran, Vice-Chancellor of City, University of London

Quality research, from every City School

In every Unit of Assessment where City submitted research for REF 2014, at least half rated as 4* or 3*, according to HEFCE data.

The REF2014 uses a rating system where a contribution of outputs, impact and environment scores together give a research score:

4* Quality that is world-leading in terms of originality, significance and rigour.
3* Quality that is internationally excellent in terms of originality, significance and rigour but which falls short of the highest standards of excellence.
2* Quality that is recognised internationally in terms of originality, significance and rigour.
1* Quality that is recognised nationally in terms of originality, significance and rigour.
Unclassified Quality that falls below the standard of nationally recognised work. Or work which does not meet the published definition of research for the purposes of this assessment.

More details, including the full dataset of results, are on the official REF website. Or take a deeper look with REFViewer.

Explore REF results with REFViewer – developed at City

The REFViewer is a simple-to-use graphical representation of the REF results. It’s been developed by Professor Jo Wood and academic staff from the City giCentre which specialises in developing and applying new techniques for visualising data.

The REFViewer covers all 36 Units of Assessment and every institution that submitted research. Explore and compare results over time, the elements of the score (outputs, impact and environment), staff numbers and ratings.