Research Excellence Framework 2021

The Research Excellence Framework (REF) is the system for assessing the quality of research in UK higher education institutions and the impact of research on the wider world outside of academia, including benefits to the economy, the environment, society and public policy or services.

REF 2021 results

33rd for overall research quality

We have increased our overall research quality ranking by 12 places to 33rd in the UK.

Top 20 for research outputs

We are ranked in the top 20 for the quality of our research outputs.

41% of research rated world leading

41% of our submitted research was rated as world-leading.

Results highlights

6th

For research power for health professions

6th

For our research outputs in law

6th

For the real-world impact of our economics research and 10th for the quality

7th

For our research outputs in computer science

10th

For the impact of our English research

15th

For research power for engineering

Top 10

For the outputs of our business research

Top 20

For the real-world impact of our business research

Overview

Results

All results were published on 12 May 2022. 

Funding implications will be announced later in 2022.

The REF is undertaken by the four UK higher education funding bodies: Research England, the Scottish Funding Council, the Higher Education Funding Council for Wales, and the Department for the Economy, Northern Ireland.

The Research Excellence Framework was first carried out in 2014, replacing the previous Research Assessment Exercise (RAE).

The 2021 Research Excellence Framework was originally due to run from 2014 to 2020. The submission deadline was originally 30 November 2020, but this was extended to 31 March 2021 to allow for delays due to Covid-19.

The REF is a process of expert review, carried out by expert panels for each of the 34 subject-based Units of Assessment (UOA’s), under the guidance of four main panels. Expert panels are made up of senior academics, international members, and research users.

Our submission

We made submissions to 14 Units of Assessments (UOA).

663

Number of staff submitted to REF 2021

611

Staff contacted FTE submitted to REF 2021

1,519

Number of outputs submitted to REF 2021 (60% of assessment)

55

Number of impact case studies (25% of assessment)

Contact us

Find us

Map of the University of Surrey

Address

University of Surrey
Guildford
Surrey
GU2 7XH