Research Excellence Framework (REF) 2014

REF 2014

We are ranked 16th in the UK for research power

Dental research

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

Areas such as neuroscience, English language and literature and computing science have been rated as amongst the leading departments in the UK.

Research areas ranging from dentistry and biological sciences, to civil engineering, maths, and media and cultural studies were all rated as world-leading or internationally excellent.

Coordinated by the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE), the REF is a process driven by external review. Each research-active University submits a return for each research unit. These submissions are reviewed by expert panels appointed by HEFCE.


The REF produces assessment outcomes for each Unit submission. Funding bodies use the outcomes to inform the allocation of their research funding to universities. REF provides accountability for public investment in research and produces evidence of the benefits of this investment. You can get more detail on the REF from HEFCE.

RAE results

REF replaces the Research Assessment Exercise (RAE). Find out about our Research Assessment Exercise (RAE) results.