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.

REF 2021 illustration
  • 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 Department of Computer Science is rated 8th nationally for the quality of their research environment
  • 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 groundbreaking ideas into real-world solutions

The Department of Computer Science is also pleased to announce that 99 percent of our research is rated in the highest two categories in the REF 2021, meaning it is classed as world-leading or internationally excellent. Half of our research outputs were judged to be world-leading. 

We are rated as 8th nationally for the quality of our research environment, and 70% of our impact was judged to be outstanding.

I’m delighted that we are within the top ten nationally for research environment. This recognises the Department’s excellent work around equality, diversity and inclusion, the impressive career progression of our PhD graduates and the high professional standing of our academic and research staff. It is independent confirmation that Sheffield is a great place to do computer science research.

Prof Guy Brown

Head of Department, Computer Science 

“Our REF2021 impact case studies demonstrate that computer science research at Sheffield has impressive reach and significance. It has brought about commercial benefits, helped to combat social problems, and shaped International policy and public debate, positively impacting on the lives of many thousands of people around the globe."

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.

“I’m really proud that our REF results confirm that our research is making an impact, but I’m also excited about the future. 

Professor Sue Hartley

Vice-President for Research at the University of Sheffield

“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.