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Research Excellence Framework

REF 2021

The University of Cumbria is committed to increasing the amount of ‘excellent research’ conducted by its staff by actively participating in the 'Research Excellence Framework' (REF). This is the system for assessing the quality of research in UK higher education institutions and contributing to the UK’s overall Research and Development (R&D) ecosystem.

Submissions for the latest REF closed on 31 March 2021 and the results were published in May 2022. REF’s overall purpose is to: “secure the continuation of a world-class, dynamic and responsive research base, and provide accountability for public investment in research and benchmarking information".

The university's submission comprised: 67 staff alongside 146 unique research outputs (including journal articles and creative outputs); 12 independently verifiable case studies outlining the impact of our research; six environment statements detailing our efforts to enhance research culture in discipline areas; and one institutional statement outlining the university's overall commitment to research and future strategy. This was underpinned by our REF2021 Code of Practice, Equality Impact Assessments, and other statistical returns.