Research Excellence Framework


The Research Excellence Framework (REF) is the process for assessing the quality of research in UK Higher Education institutions. The REF uses a process of expert review with sub-panels for each of 34 Units of Assessment (UOAs) working under the guidance of four broad main panels.

The REF assesses:

  • The quality of research outputs
  • The wider impact of research
  • The vitality of the research environment

REF 2021

The REF 2021 institutional submission for the University of Central Lancashire has been a huge team effort, especially during a pandemic, but colleagues have, as always, risen to the challenge with world-leading research and impact ranging from local to global communities, from wellbeing to the Arts, and from policy to public engagement. UCLan's REF 2021 submission included 445 staff with significant responsibility for research, 1000+ research outputs and 50 impact case studies to REF 2021 across 19 Units of Assessment.

We are committed to producing research that is relevant to the real world. Many of our researchers are world-leading experts whose work is transforming lives globally. Our research is contributing towards UN Sustainability Goals and two-thirds of our REF 2021 Impact Case Studies involve countries receiving Official Development Assistance (ODA) funding or UK areas ranking in the 25% most deprived nationally.

UCLan’s REF 2021
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Further information

For more information on the Research Excellence Framework, please email the Research Assessment team.