Oxford’s REF 2021 results show largest volume of world-leading research

12 May 2022

Strapline: Results of the Research Excellence Framework (REF) 2021 for UK universities indicate that Oxford has the largest volume of world-leading research.

Today [12/05/2022], the UK Funding Bodies have published the outcomes of the recent national research assessment exercise, the Research Excellence Framework (REF) 2021. The REF 2021 results show Oxford’s submission had the highest volume of world¬¬¬-leading research [[1]].

The University of Oxford made the largest submission of any Higher Education Institution (HEI) in the UK, submitting over 3,600 researchers (3,405 full time equivalent) into 29 subject areas, over 8,500 research outputs in a range of formats from journal articles to compositions, and 220 case studies about the impact of Oxford research beyond academia.

Professor Louise Richardson, Vice-Chancellor at the University of Oxford, said:
‘The REF 2021 results demonstrate once again that Oxford is a research powerhouse and the impact case studies highlight our effectiveness in putting this research in service to society by making critical contributions to global health, economic prosperity and cultural life.’

‘The REF is one of the few opportunities to see the remarkable breadth of our research and to draw together all parts of the collegiate University in a single collaborative effort, and I would like to thank everyone involved for their contribution.’

Professor Patrick Grant, Pro-Vice Chancellor for Research at the University of Oxford said:
‘The publication of the REF 2021 results marks the culmination of the work done by staff across the University, especially in the past two years or so. Thank you to everyone involved in the submission — both those who, in a variety of ways, led and supported our research and impact activities, and also the many colleagues who coordinated the submission itself.
‘We are pleased to have submitted work from researchers at a variety of career stages and from across the Collegiate university, thus giving us the opportunity to showcase the depth and breadth of our research. Our submission also shows how through our collaborations with external partners our research is used to benefit society, across the UK and around the world.’

Highlights of the submission can be found here.

Notes to editors:

[1] Largest volume of world-leading research is calculated from the sum of (overall %4* x submitted FTE) across all submissions. Full results will be published at: www.ref.ac.uk
For more information on the University of Oxford REF 2021 results please visit: https://www.ox.ac.uk/research/recognition/REF2021

For more information about the REF please visit: https://ref.ac.uk/

For further information please contact: Alexander Buxton, Head of Strategic Communications T: +44 7392 288649 E: alexander.buxton@admin.ox.ac.uk

About the University of Oxford
Oxford University has been placed number 1 in the Times Higher Education World University Rankings for the sixth year running, and number 2 in the QS World Rankings 2022. At the heart of this success are the twin-pillars of our ground-breaking research and innovation and our distinctive educational offer.
Oxford is world-famous for research and teaching excellence and home to some of the most talented people from across the globe. Our work helps the lives of millions, solving real-world problems through a huge network of partnerships and collaborations. The breadth and interdisciplinary nature of our research alongside our personalised approach to teaching sparks imaginative and inventive insights and solutions.
Through its research commercialisation arm, Oxford University Innovation, Oxford is the highest university patent filer in the UK and is ranked first in the UK for university spinouts, having created more than 200 new companies since 1988. Over a third of these companies have been created in the past three years. The university is a catalyst for prosperity in Oxfordshire and the United Kingdom, contributing £15.7 billion to the UK economy in 2018/19, and supports more than 28,000 full time jobs.