Huddersfield leaps forward in research power


Wed, 04 Feb 2015 11:00:00 GMT

Leap of 25 places in research power

The University of Huddersfield has achieved outstanding results in the UK’s national assessment of research quality.  Its leap of 25 places in research power was recognised by the Times Higher Education’s Table of Excellence for the Research Excellence Framework 2014 (REF 2014) as the third highest of 154 higher education institutions in the UK.  This performance exceeds many of the targets set out in the University’s ambitious Research Strategy, which builds on our distinctive research strengths to inspire excellent research with significant benefits for the economy and society.

“The excellent performance in REF 2014 of our research across key areas demonstrates our commitment to embracing interdisciplinary grand challenges and addressing the priorities determined by wider society.” - Professor Andrew Ball, Pro Vice-Chancellor, Research and Enterprise

The University’s biggest ever submission also saw 150 per cent increase in research recognised as “world leading” and a five-fold increase in the number of researchers producing work at this highest level of attainment.

I am delighted with the progress we have made in moving into the top half of the UK league table for research power.  Our aim has been to strengthen research activity right across the institution and this result demonstrates that our approach is working.  This shows how our students and industry partners benefit from the research undertaken by our academic staff.  Our aim over the next stage of our strategy is to build on the progress we have made and to further increase the quality, quantity and impact of the research we undertake.” - Professor Bob Cryan, Vice-Chancellor

“It is rewarding to see our progress since the last assessment in 2008 recognised by some really impressive results in REF 2014.  Being the third biggest mover in the UK in terms of research power shows that our research strategy to increase both the quality and quantity of our research is working well.” - Professor Peter Slee, Deputy Vice-Chancellor

Supporting new researchers

The results have highlighted the University’s continuous efforts to encourage and support early-career researchers, with over 20 per cent of its submission comprising academic staff at this formative stage of their research careers.  This result reflects and confirms the high level of support and encouragement given to new and emerging researchers at the University.

Achieving impact

The REF 2014 was the first national research assessment to include a distinct category for research impact.  This section evaluated the reach and significance of research through case studies demonstrating the impact of the University’s best research on the relevant communities in policy, business and society.  Here the University excelled, with two-thirds of its impact case studies judged as having outstanding or very considerable reach and significance, reflecting the focus on conducting research which benefits the economy and society.

I am pleased to see the University of Huddersfield performing so well in the REF results.  Having its impact case studies rated so highly reflects its high levels of engagement with both local and national communities to ensure its research has an impact on the economy and society.” - Barry Sheerman, MP for Huddersfield

NPL is proud to be celebrating the REF results with the University of Huddersfield.  Its commitment to driving innovative research and to delivering demonstrable impact to industry, particularly in areas of applied metrology, continues to underpin the strength of our strategic partnership.”Graham Topley, Head of Measurement Solutions Division, National Physical Laboratory

A consistent approach to research excellence and a focus on impact throughout the research journey, along with continuous efforts to develop researchers and to strengthen their research environment, has resulted in notable successes across all four of the REF main panels of assessment.  Below are links to some of the key impact case studies under each area as profiled in the University's research magazine, Discover.


Biology and Biomedical Sciences

Influencing policy and practice in the field of surgical site infections and wound care

Inhaled therapies

Engineering and Physical Sciences

New Thermal Methods for Materials Preparation and Characterisation

The Impact of Physical Organic Chemistry Research at Huddersfield

Advanced machine tool accuracy measurement and improvement

The Development of World Leading Surface Metrology Software

Social Sciences

Chartered Accountants: leading thinking on professional ethics

Shaping Entrepreneurship and Enterprise Education and Assisting Business Start-Up and Growth

Sustainable enterprise development and livelihoods in South-West Ethiopia

All Players Onside: The Development and Application of the Biopsychosocial Approach to Reducing Sickness Absence and Work Disability Due to Back Pain

Child Sexual Abuse in the Caribbean: Critical Theory, Research, Policy and Practice

Designing Out Crime: Building Safer Communities Through Shaping National and International Policy and Practice

Improving Access to Effective Self-Help Support in Mental Health Services

Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) Equalities

Improving policy approaches to Prevent (formerly known as Preventing Violent Extremism)

Arts and Humanities

Apt for Voyces or Vialls: Developing Understanding of the Cultural Contexts and Performance Strategies Appropriate to Renaissance Music for Viols and Voices

Commercial Implementations of the HISSTools Impulse Response Toolbox

Find out more about the University's research...



Back to news index - February