REF2021: KQ Liverpool partners at the forefront of world-leading research

Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine (LSTM), Liverpool John Moores University (LJMU) and University of Liverpool (UoL) lead the way in the results of the 2021 Research Excellence Framework (REF)

First carried out in 2014, the REF is undertaken by four UK higher education funding bodies aligned to their shared policy aim to secure the continuation of a world-class, dynamic and responsive research base across the full academic spectrum within UK higher education.

The 2021 REF highlights the strength of Liverpool’s knowledge economy, with KQ Liverpool partners at the forefront of “world-leading” and “internationally excellent” research across multiple disciplines.

Key achievements across KQ Liverpool partners include:

Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine

In its first independent submission to the REF, LSTM has been recognised for the impact of their work, ranking 2nd overall in the UK for impact across all disciplines.

This impressive position demonstrates that LSTM can both deliver excellent research whilst maintaining a strong focus on research translation and uptake.

Some other LSTM highlights include:

  • Joint 6th place in Clinical Medicine
  • A combined score of 60% in “outstanding” category and 32% in the internationally excellent category

As LSTM approach their 125th anniversary year, the REF results shine a spotlight on LSTM’s long-term mission of producing innovative science and translating it into interventions with real benefits for patients and populations.

Liverpool John Moores University

Building on the success of their results in the 2014 REF, LJMU have more than doubled the amount of research that is judged to be “world-leading” or “internationally-excellent.” Of the 1,449 research studies assessed, nearly three quarters were classified within these categories. These results are even more impressive given that in the 2021 REF over 600 LJMU researchers were judged on the quality of their scholarship compared to 242 in 2014.

Some other LJMU highlights include:

  • 49th of all UK universities in the “research power” rankings
  • 66.1% of research in the top two categories

Top performing areas for LJMU included Astrophysics, Sport and Exercise Sciences, Engineering and English with 96.9%, 96.2%, 95.8% and 86.2% of research ranked as “world-leading” or “internationally excellent” respectively. As such, LJMU’s Astrophysics Research Institute was rated in the top five in the UK in space science based on the REF 2021 results.

University of Liverpool

Reinforcing UoL’s position as a world-leading research institution, its “research power” was ranked 19th in the UK in the REF 2021. Nine University of Liverpool research units achieved a top ten ranking for their outstanding impact.

Some other UoL highlights include:

  • 91% of research rated as “world-leading” or “internationally excellent”
  • 94% of research impact considered “outstanding” or “very considerable”

Standout subject areas for the University of Liverpool include Agriculture, Food and Veterinary Sciences, Chemistry, and Modern Languages and Linguistics which all ranked in the top 10 in the UK for research excellence. In particular, the University’s Chemistry research cemented a world-leading status ranking 3rd place for 4* research impact. This follows a chemistry research income that has doubled over the past 6 years and the opening of the £81m Materials Innovation Factory in 2018 which is now home to some of the most pioneering material scientists and chemists.

Congratulations to KQ Liverpool partners, academics, researchers and pioneers on these incredible achievements!