12 May 2022

Physics at Sheffield rated 1st in the UK for the quality of research

In the Research Excellence Framework 2021, 100 per cent of research and impact from the Department of Physics and Astronomy has been classed as world-leading or internationally excellent.

REF 2021 illustration

Physics at Sheffield has been rated first in the UK in terms of the quality of research, with 100 per cent of research and impact from the Department of Physics and Astronomy classed as world-leading or internationally excellent in the Research Excellence Framework (REF) 2021.

The University of Sheffield is today (12 May 2022) marking the REF 2021 results by celebrating pioneering research, which is addressing some of the biggest global challenges and making a real-world impact.

REF 2021 is a national assessment of the research taking place across UK universities. Across all of its submissions, 92 per cent of the University of Sheffield’s research has been classed as world-leading or internationally excellent.

I am delighted that REF 2021 has concluded that the majority of the fantastic research undertaken across the department has been found to be world leading, and that our research is also highly impactful to society.

Professor Paul Crowther

Head of the Department of Physics and Astronomy

Find out more about the University of Sheffield's REF 2021 results


Research features

Read the features below to find out about some of the impact that physics research at the University of Sheffield is making.

Solar panel

A few years ago the UK's electricity came almost entirely from a few dozen power stations. Today, solar electricity comes from nearly a million homes, schools, hospitals, supermarkets, factories and fields. How do you track a million invisible electricity creators?

Read 'The invisibles: tracking solar energy'

Circle with connecting lines to represent quantum technology

The second quantum revolution is coming, but who will be the first to champion it? Now, it could be AegiQ, a University of Sheffield spin-out company with a new enabling technology and over two decades of quantum knowledge behind it.

Read 'Sheffield’s spin-out to build the quantum technology of the future'

​​​Read 'University of Sheffield spin-out secures seed investment to revolutionise trust in global telecommunications and computing with quantum photonics'

REF 2021 illustration

Research Excellence Framework 2021

We have been rated 1st in the UK in terms of the quality of our research. In the latest REF, 100 per cent of research and impact from our department has been classed as world-leading or internationally excellent.

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.