Research Excellence


The Research Excellence Framework (REF) is a national assessment of research quality covering publications, research impact and environment. The framework is managed by the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE).

Swansea University’s REF preparation is one of the major drivers for our research excellence. The results of the REF are used to determine Quality Research (QR) funding allocation and also provides data to inform league tables.



Key achievements in REF2014 include:

  • QR funding increased by 20%
  • 80% research rated as world leading (4*) or internationally excellent (3*)
  • Made the biggest leap, from joint 52nd to joint 26th in the THE league table.

Led by the Senior Pro Vice Chancellor for Research and supported by SMT the REF preparation will require continued partnership working to build on the REF2014 results to achieve our objectives and targets which include:

  • Improved league table position, UK Top-20, with a REF Grade Point Average (GPA) of 3.2
  • Increase in research environment indicators to achieve £70m Research Income and 220 PhD completions per annum
  • 20% growth in academic staff numbers and to provide clear progression routes for all research staff.
  • Increase in esteem indicators including to establish new or refresh research facilities and increase representation on peer review panels

Link to REF 2014 results

Link to Research Impact