Middlesex has improved on the REF 2014 position in terms of increasing the scale, scope and quality of outputs and producing impactful research. Research from more staff was submitted for consideration in 2021 compared to 2014 and virtually 100% of our eligible staff were submitted across 12 units.
The REF 2021 results provide a strong platform to build on and meet the objectives of the University’s ten-year global strategy of undertaking collaborative research with impact under the umbrella of our three key thematic areas.
In total, 157 UK universities participated in REF 2021, submitting over 76,000 academic staff. This material was assessed by a series of expert panels comprising UK and international researchers, external users of research and experts in interdisciplinary research. Overall, the panels judged 41 per cent of the submitted work to be ‘world-leading’ (4*) and a further 43 per cent to be ‘internationally excellent’ (3*).
The University’s submission to the Business and Management Studies Unit of Assessment (UoA) performed particularly well. Much of the focus of the submission reflects Middlesex’s strategic theme of inclusive socio-economic development. For example, research on improving the treatment of BAME employees in the NHS, encouraging adoption of the Living Wage by employers, extending maternity protection and rights in the global south and exposing employers for not paying staff wages.
"The results demonstrate significant strengths, particularly in terms of the impact of our research. They also signal areas where we have scope to build and improve, in line with our ambitious strategy to 2031, focusing on our three global themes." Professor Carole-Anne Upton, Middlesex University
In 2014 Middlesex entered ten UoAs and in 2021 the University submitted to 12. For the first time, submissions under Sports Science and Education were included. The research impact of 100% of the case studies in Sports Science was judged as 3* or 4*.
The impact of all Middlesex case studies submitted across five different UoAs (Psychology, Psychiatry and Neuroscience; Sport and Exercise Sciences, Leisure and Tourism; Geography and Environmental Studies; Business and Management Studies; Business and Management Studies; Art and Design: History, Practice and Theory) was judged as outstanding (4*) or very considerable (3*). Impact case studies from each of those UoAs have strong links to at least one of the University’s strategic themes.
Commenting on the REF 2021 results, Professor Carole-Anne Upton, Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Research, Knowledge Exchange and Engagement, said:
“I want to thank all the staff who made a collaborative and collective response to REF 2021 in such challenging circumstances. Against a backdrop of dealing with the effects of the pandemic on their professional and personal lives they worked extremely hard to engage so effectively with the process.
“The results demonstrate significant strengths, particularly in terms of the impact of our research. They also signal areas where we have scope to build and improve, in line with our ambitious strategy to 2031, focusing on our three global themes.
“As a learning organisation, we will use the REF outcomes and what we have learnt from the process to further enhance our research environment, culture, outputs and impacts, and we look forward to receiving detailed feedback from Research England later in the year.”
To view our research including REF 2021 submissions click here.