Congratulations to Physics and Astronomy at Kent

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.

Physics and Astronomy REF21

Physics and Astronomy has seen an increase from the last REF of 2014 with a Grade Point Average (GPA) of 3.06. REF2021 has seen 93% of Outputs reaching world leading or internationally excellent (4* and 3*) levels.. This is a reduction of lower quality research compared with the 2014 submission, which puts Kent on a par with some of the top ranked institutions. The submission included all Physics and Astronomy research staff. This represents a 4-fold increase in FTE and translates into a significant increase in Research Power.

REF2021 has also seen a substantial improvement in environment. This is particularly challenging for small institutions such as Physics and Astronomy at Kent. 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 GPA by FTE submitted). The Division of Natural Sciences is extremely proud of the Physics and Astronomy department for their high quality research, giving them a solid basis on which to build over the coming years.

Dr. Stuart Gibson, Senior Lecturer and UoA Physics Research Lead says:

In the REF2021 research assessment, an impressive 94% of Kent’s Physics research Outputs and Impact Case Studies were judged to be internationally excellent or world-leading, representing a strong upward trajectory in research quality. There was a fourfold rise in the number of Physics and Astronomy staff included in our REF2021 submission and this, in combination with an improvement in overall GPA, has resulted in significant increase in Research Power.

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