The results of the Research Excellence Framework 2014 (REF 2014) were published in December 2014 and showed that the University was among the most improved Universities for research in the United Kingdom.
The University submitted 112 staff (over 4 times as many as in RAE 2008) to 11 subject areas (compared to just 4 in RAE 2008) and saw a third of its research classified as “world-leading” or “internationally excellent”, with just under three quarters of its research identified as at least “internationally recognised”. The results show that there is “world leading” research in 9 of the 11 areas to which we submitted. This is a remarkable step forward for the University and shows its ever growing commitment to research.
There were particular successes for History where 56% of its research was recognised as “world-leading” or “internationally excellent”; for Art & Design where more than 40% met this categorisation; and for Sport & Exercise Science where 86% of its research was at least “internationally recognised”.
Full details of Worcester’s results can be found here.
REF 2014 saw, for the first time, an assessment of the “impact” of research on society, economy, culture and environment. The results show that 44% of the University’s impact was rated as “outstanding” or “very considerable” in terms of reach and significance with 85% being classified as at least “considerable”. The assessment was primarily focused on a series of impact case studies, evidenced accounts of how a particular body of research undertaken at the University has led to benefits beyond the academic sphere. The results allow us to identify, for example, the outstanding impact of research into childhood obesity on weight management programmes in the West Midlands and the very considerable impact of research into aerobiology on the quality of life of hay fever sufferers, of research into plant disease on crop protection methods, of research on Shakespeare on theatre performance and practice in Romania and of research into remembrance on the thinking and approach of the National Memorial Arboretum.