12 May 2022

University of Sheffield celebrates its impactful research

The University of Sheffield is today (12 May 2022) celebrating its pioneering research which is addressing some of the biggest global challenges and making a real-world impact.

REF2021
  • 92 per cent of research and its real-world impact at the University of Sheffield has been rated as world-leading or internationally excellent
  • The REF results are used to inform the allocation of around £2 billion per year of public funding for research
  • The University of Sheffield’s submission to the REF included 3,684 outputs, 114 impact case studies and 1,690 staff
  • The framework assesses the quality of our research, as well as the impact of that research beyond academia, measuring the benefits of innovative collaboration with business, industry, the public sector and civil society organisations which help to translate ground breaking ideas into real-world solutions.

The University of Sheffield is today (12 May 2022) celebrating its pioneering research which is addressing some of the biggest global challenges and making a real-world impact.

The publication of the 2021 Research Excellence Framework (REF), a national assessment of the research taking place across UK universities, has classed 92 per cent of the University of Sheffield’s research as world-leading or internationally excellent. This reaffirms the institute's research excellence across a range of disciplines.

Speaking about the Faculty’s results, Vice-President and Head of Faculty Professor Susan Fitzmaurice said, "The REF 2021 results represent a moment at which the diversity, range and impact of research in the Arts and Humanities and research in these disciplines at the University of Sheffield in particular is recognised to be vitally important."

”It is with great pride that we celebrate the extensive amount of high quality research that takes place across the Faculty as we explore what makes us human through the study of languages, cultures, histories and ideas.”

“Our thriving and active academic community, with excellent support from those who enable research, works at the cutting-edge of research in the arts and humanities. Together we produce significant and impactful research both within our disciplines and in a collaborative, interdisciplinary way allowing us to contribute to the wider understanding of individuals and societies at a local and global level.”

The REF results are used to inform the allocation of around £2 billion per year of public funding for universities’ research which aims to make a difference to people’s lives across the globe.

The framework assesses university research according to the quality of research outputs, such as journal articles, books and designs; the impact of research beyond academia, looking at the benefits of innovative collaboration with business, industry, the public sector and civil society organisations which help to translate groundbreaking ideas into real-world solutions; and the environment within universities that supports research.

Professor Sue Hartley, Vice-President for Research at the University of Sheffield, said: “I’m really proud that our REF results confirm that our research is making an impact, but I’m also excited about the future. 

“We’ve set ourselves an ambitious vision for our research to be world-leading and world-changing, to drive intellectual advances and address global challenges. 

“Together I would like us to build on from our REF results and continue to enable and actively promote a culture of research excellence across our community for the benefit of our University, our researchers and the wider world.” 

The University of Sheffield’s submission to the REF included 3,684 outputs, 114 impact case studies and 1,690 staff.

REF is a retrospective exercise looking back over seven years of ground breaking research achieved by leading researchers, and those that support the research environment. The REF is a milestone for inspiring future discoveries and continuing to make a difference to lives across the world.

Flagship institutes

The University’s four flagship institutes bring together our key strengths to tackle global issues, turning interdisciplinary and translational research into real-world solutions.