Research excellence at Glasgow
Research Excellence Framework 2021
The University of Glasgow has been recognised for its world-leading research and the positive impact it has on society, by the Research Excellence Framework (REF).
The results highlight Glasgow’s position as a world-changing university which produces research of global and national importance.
The submission also highlighted Glasgow’s commitment to making a difference beyond academia. The University submitted 118 impact case studies to expert panels, showcasing the University’s wide-ranging collaborations with external partners to deliver societal and economic impacts locally, nationally and globally.
The University has one of the broadest research bases in the UK with a wide range of disciplines reflected in our academic community.
Research excellence by discipline
College of Arts
The College of Arts is committed to sustaining a positive and nurturing research culture. This is reflected in the strong REF performance, with two-thirds of environment and impact being recognised as 'world-leading' or 'internationally excellent'.
Researchers work closely with public, private and third sector partners across the creative, cultural and heritage industries, and education and policy arenas.
These partnerships highlight the value of Arts & Humanities research in tackling economic and societal challenges in the modern world. The 28 submitted impact case studies reflected engagement with civic institutions, public policy, social inclusion, public understanding, mental health and wellbeing, curation of cultural memory, creative arts, education, heritage conservation, cultural diversity and the profile of Gaelic.
Find out more: Research in the College of Arts
College of Medical, Veterinary and Life Sciences
The College of Medical, Veterinary and Life Sciences brings together expert researchers from diverse disciplines working to address the major challenges that face society.
Strategic, financial, and intellectual investments have driven improvements across research disciplines since the last UK-wide assessment in 2014. The disciplines performed exceptionally well, the collaborative and interdisciplinary approach was recognised by the REF panels, who judged over 95% of the research submission as ‘world-leading’ or ‘internationally-excellent’.
A commitment to making a difference across society was acknowledged, with all submitted impact case studies being confirmed to have delivered ‘outstanding’ or ‘very considerable’ reach and significance. These results underline the importance of collaboration and confirm that our researchers contribute to society to improve human and animal health through policy, practice and treatment, and contribute to the competitiveness of the UK economy.
College of Science and Engineering
Research in the College of Science & Engineering supports the University’s world-changing ambition to lead discovery research that has a positive impact on society in areas including net-zero, healthcare technologies and safe drinking water.
International collaborations are creating new forms of imaging for exploring the quantum world, discovering gravitational waves, and advancing next generation communications. Six out of seven units have a research environment that was assessed as 100% 'world-leading' or 'internationally excellent', reflecting the commitment to supporting a positive research culture and investing in early career researchers.
Strong partnerships demonstrate how Science & Engineering delivers excellent impact:
- the monitoring and modelling of coastal erosion to enable policy and practice changes to guard against this threat to the environment;
- the transformation of semiconductor laser products, driving international industrial and economic benefits; and
- developing the tools required for monitoring air and water quality, providing the expert evidence base for policy changes in these environmental and health-critical areas.
Find out more: Research in the College of Science and Engineering
College of Social Sciences
Working collaboratively with communities and institutions, research from the College of Social Sciences materially improves people’s lives, in Glasgow, Scotland and across the world.
Across all six Units of Assessment, 90% or higher of research was assessed as ‘world-leading’ or ‘internationally excellent’. Reflecting the collegiality of Social Sciences, 100% of the research environment was assessed as having the 'vitality and sustainability' to produce 'world-leading' or 'internationally excellent' research and impact.
Researchers from the College of Social Sciences made important contributions on a huge range of knowledge domains including: the urban environment, the UK-wide Collaborative Centre for Housing Evidence, the Productivity Institute, the Economics Observatory and the International Public Policy Observatory; the net zero economy; climate democracy; equity in education; migration; health and wellbeing; Central and Eastern Europe including Ukraine and Russia; crime and justice; and the public policy process.
Find out more: Research in the College of Social Sciences
Making a difference
University of Glasgow research impacts locally, nationally & globally.
Children's literature in critical contexts of displacement
Low-cost diagnostic tests for infectious diseases
Industry & innovation
Collaboration with industry and supporting innovation are key priorities.
Supporting entrepreneurship through angel investing
Collaboration transforms company to a global leader
Exploring virtual reality in the teaching environment
Research Strategy & Culture
By working in teams, building on each other’s ideas, and making Glasgow the best place to develop a career, our research transforms lives and changes the world.
Our research strategy is focused on collaboration, creativity and careers. Creating an inclusive environment in which colleagues support each other to succeed is a key priority at Glasgow. We are world-changers together.