12 May 2022

University of Sheffield celebrates its impactful research

We are proud that 84 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.

REF 2021
  • 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 groundbreaking ideas into real-world solutions

The University of Sheffield is 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.

Through our research we explore East Asian societies and cultures, investigate economic development and social change, and examine contemporary issues such as migration and international relations.

Our diverse research is making a difference by challenging complex Japanese stereotypesexploring Japanese poetry in music and translation: and examining the history of China’s relationship with Xinjiang and the Uyghurs

In 2021, we also received a Philip Leverhulme Prize to support research on film studies, visual art and Japanese cultural studies:   We are also proud to announce a recent AHRC Research, Development and Engagement Fellowship for research into Korean music and prayers in the early twentieth-century: 

We are extremely appreciative of 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.

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.

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.