The University of Southampton
Health Sciences

Health Sciences validates its number one status in health research

Published: 22 January 2015
Jessica Corner

In the latest national assessment of research, the Research Excellence Framework (REF) 2014, the University of Southampton’s Faculty of Health Sciences scored a perfect maximum of 100 per cent, and the highest 4* quality level, for all elements of its research impact and research environment.

Research Fortnight has ranked Health Sciences at Southampton as the number one institution in the UK for the overall quality of its research, and the Times Higher Education (THE) has ranked the Faculty’s subject research intensity as number one in the UK.

The Faculty’s work was submitted to a subpanel which encompassed a wide range of subjects and disciplines including pharmacy, dentistry, biomedical science, nursing, midwifery and allied health.

A single integrated nursing and allied health professional submission was made which meant competing with extremely strong groups of biomedical scientists, pharmacists and dentists as well as nurses and allied health professions.

Dean of the Faculty, Dame Jessica Corner, said: “Our research effort is firmly focused on fundamentally changing and improving patient experience by developing innovative solutions to challenging health problems and influencing health policy.

“It is fantastic to know that the recent REF results, along with independent assessments, have confirmed the indisputable quality and impact of our work. Our research directly feeds back into the education we offer and how we work with NHS partners and other organisations.

“I am especially proud of how we have brought nursing and allied health together to work jointly on this as a fully integrated and interdisciplinary research effort and the results prove that this was the right decision. Our success in the league tables follows five years of hard work by everyone involved and an achievement for all of us.”

The 2014 REF assesses the quality of research output, the impact it has had outside of academia, and the quality of its research environment. The results will be used by the four UK higher education funding bodies to allocate research funding. Currently, this amounts to £2 billion per year.

The results of the REF also reaffirmed the University of Southampton’s position as one of the leading research universities.

Overall Southampton is ranked 11th in the UK based on the volume and quality of its research in the assessment framework. Over 97 per cent of its research environment was assessed as world-leading and internationally excellent and nearly 90 per cent of its research was assessed as having world-leading and internationally excellent impact.

For Health Sciences the results mean the Faculty continues to be looked to by institutions around the country and the world as a leading health sciences research institution.

Details of Health Sciences’ world-leading research in end-of-life care, recovery from stroke, consent for organ and tissue donation and non-medical prescribing can be found here.

The University’s full REF results are available at: www.ref.ac.uk

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