12 May 2022

University of Sheffield celebrates its impactful research

Department of Landscape Architecture – in conjunction with School of Architecture and Department of Urban Studies and Planning – rated 3rd nationally, showing our research is instrumental in making a real difference to lives around the world.

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
  • Department of Landscape Architecture – in conjunction with the School of Architecture and the Department of Urban Studies and Planning – rated 3rd nationally, showing our research is instrumental in making a real difference to lives around the world.
  • 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 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.

The Department of Landscape Architecture – in conjunction with the School of Architecture and the Department of Urban Studies & Planning – was rated 3rd nationally, showing the research is instrumental in making a real difference to lives around the world.

95 per cent of our research is rated in the highest two categories in the REF 2021, meaning it is classed as world-leading or internationally excellent.

We are rated top for the quality of our research environment nationally, showing that the School of Architecture and the Departments of Landscape Architecture and Urban Studies & Planning, are vibrant, creative and supportive places to undertake research.

Head of Department, Professor Helen Woolley, said: “We are extremely proud of the hard work of our staff, as well as the partnerships and collaborations that have led to our success and will be celebrating with the whole research community who have made these achievements possible."

“Our high-quality research is pushing the boundaries of knowledge and making a real-world difference to people’s lives. Our research outputs are essential points of reference for academia, policymakers, industry and beyond."

“The REF case studies – where research is used in practice – build on some of our partnerships with businesses, charities, and other academic partners from around the world and have impacted the lives of hundreds of people globally."

"Using ecological principles of researched plant selection, these have helped to create attractive and engaging landscapes that provide a wealth of benefits, including increased biodiversity and mitigation of some impacts of climate change in urban contexts.”

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.
 

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