What is the REF?
The REF is undertaken by the four UK higher education funding bodies: Research England, the Scottish Funding Council (SFC), the Higher Education Funding Council for Wales (HEFCW), and the Department for the Economy, Northern Ireland (DfE). The funding bodies’ shared policy aim for research assessment is to secure the continuation of a world-class, dynamic and responsive research base across the full academic spectrum within UK higher education. For each submission, three distinct elements are assessed: the quality of outputs (e.g. publications, performances, and exhibitions), their impact beyond academia, and the environment that supports research.
Biosciences has seen an increase from the last REF of 2014 with a Grade Point Average (GPA) of 3.24. REF 2021 has seen 76.4% of Outputs reaching world leading or internationally excellent (4* and 3*) levels.
Impact was assessed via the three impact case studies, which were rated as 83% in the “world leading” and 17% in the “internationally excellent” categories, which is an exceptional result. The impact case studies were led by Dr Campbell Gourlay, Professor Mark Smales and Professor Darren Griffin, whose work exemplified the impact of Bioscience research on wider society.
Under Environment the school was classes as 100% “internationally excellent”. This element of assessment combines an environment statement, the number of PhD students who have completed degrees with us and the amount of research funding received.
Biosciences at Kent is ranked 25th out of 44 institutions with the same unit of assessment. In a broader context, the University overall is ranked at 38 (49 in REF2014) based on a GPA of 3.23 and is ranked 32nd using the research power metric (multiples of GPA by FTE submitted). The Division of Natural Sciences is extremely proud of the school of Biosciences for their dedication to research and the hard work that all members of staff have devoted over the past years.
Dr Campbell W. Gourlay, Reader in Cell Biology and Director of Research says:
“The School of Biosciences has demonstrated it is a world-leading research School, seeing an increase in the overall GPA to 3.24 since 2014. Biosciences published 76% of its research papers in the highest “world leading” category. A fantastic impact case score, of which an exceptional 83% were assessed as being in the highest “world leading” category (and 100% in the “world leading” and “internationally excellent” categories), demonstrated the significance of our science as making a sustained and significant impact on society.”