The Research Excellence Framework is the new system for assessing the quality of research in UK higher education institutions. It replaced the Research Assessment Exercise, last conducted in 2008.
LSTM emerged high on the academic rankings following the designation of higher education institution status earlier in 2013.
In the overall ranking table LSTM took 24th place out of 128 institutions, according to the Times Higher Education (THE). In addition LSTM scored exceptionally well on the THE ranking of institutions on impact by taking place 6 out of 128.
It is the first time that LSTM appears on these rankings under its own name following the designation as higher education institution in July 2013. LSTM provided joint submissions with the University of Liverpool (clinical medicine) and University of Warwick (public health).
‘These high rankings are testament of the exceptional level of research conducted at LSTM’, said LSTM Director, Professor Janet Hemingway. ‘More importantly we are an institution that prides itself to be at the forefront of translating our research into policies and practices and to see the impact of our research recognised with such a high ranking is very welcome news indeed.’
…we are an institution that prides itself to be at the forefront of translating our research into policies and practices… Professor Janet Hemingway, LSTM Director
With 6th place in the ranking of institutions on impact, LSTM places itself amongst some of the major research institutions in the UK, with an overall score of 60% in the outstanding category and 36% in the international excellence category.
In the joint submission in clinical medicine, LSTM scored 30% percent in the outstanding category and 50% in the international excellence category. In the joint submission in public health these percentages were 39% and 41% in the respective categories.
The work of LSTM staff across all departments was instrumental in this assessment and included LSTM staff working with the Royal Liverpool University Hospital; the Wellcome Trust Liverpool Glasgow Centre for Global Health Research and the Malawi-Liverpool Wellcome Trust Clinical Research Programme. REF2014 also considered the publications from several high profile LSTM coordinated projects such as the A·WOL Consortium (Anti-Wolbachia to combat onchocerciasis and lymphatic filariasis); the Malaria in Pregnancy Consortium (MIP) and others in the clinical medicine submission.
The Research Excellence Framework (REF) is the system for assessing the quality of research in UK higher education institutions (HEI). To do this HEIs return a submission to the REF Steering Group and expert sub-panels, who undertake the assessment and produce outcomes.
The findings are used by the UK’s four higher education funding bodies, who use the outcomes to inform the selective allocation of their grant funding for research. In addition, the assessment provides accountability for public investment in research and produces evidence of the benefits of this investment. HEI’s are then benchmarked and ranked.
The next assessment is planned for 2020.