REF 2021

University of Leeds research delivers real world impact

The results of the Research Excellence Framework (REF) identified that 90% of University of Leeds research has a quality rating of “world-leading” or “internationally excellent”.

The assessment measures the quality of outputs – including publications, performances, and exhibitions, and their impact on the economy, public policy, civil society or culture, along with the environment that supports research. 

The University is a values driven organisation that works with academic, governmental, industrial and third sector partners to deliver world-changing research and create a fairer future for all.   That is why it is so encouraging that the REF 2021 results show we continue to provide research that is shaping the world around us for the better.   The results are a testament to the hard work of our researchers, professional services staff and Unit of Assessment leads. I thank everyone who was involved in this monumental effort. 

Professor Simone Buitendijk, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Leeds, 2021

Over 120 unique Leeds case studies were submitted demonstrating how our research is, among others things, achieving global impact, driving down inequalities and addressing social and economic challenges.

We will continue to build on this excellent work. Read more about our strategy, Universal Values Global Change

  • About REF

    The Research Excellence Framework (REF) is the system for assessing the quality of research in UK higher education institutions.

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  • Results summary

    Our REF 2021 results, broken down by subject, or “unit of assessment”.

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  • Impact case studies

    A selection of case studies demonstrating the impact of research undertaken across our faculties.

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Our REF 2021 results

90% submitted research rated 3* or 4*

28 submissions made