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Today the UK funding bodies have published the results of the UK’s most recent national research assessment exercise, REF 2021.

REF 2021 logo and MPLS Division logo

Research in MPLS primarily fell into these seven Units of Assessment (UOAs):

  • UOA5, Biological Sciences: covering the Departments of Zoology and Plant Sciences as well as four Medical Sciences departments
  • UOA7, Earth Systems and Environmental Sciences: covering the Department of Earth Sciences and part of the Oxford University Museum of Natural History
  • UOA8, Chemistry: covering the Department of Chemistry
  • UOA9, Physics: covering the Department of Physics
  • UOA10, Mathematical Sciences: covering the Mathematical Institute and the Department of Statistics
  • UOA11, Computer Science and Informatics: covering the Department of Computer Science and part of the Oxford Internet Institute
  • UOA12, Engineering: covering the Departments of Engineering Science and Materials

REF 2021 comprised 34 Units of Assessment in total, and the University submitted to 29 of them. The REF 2021 results show that Oxford’s submission had the highest volume of world­­­-leading research*.

Professor Sam Howison, Head of MPLS Division, said: ‘Across MPLS, the quality of our research, the environment in which we do it, and the impact it has, have all been recognised. The sheer volume of world-leading research is extraordinary; and our environment scores reflect the tremendous efforts we have put into making this a wonderful place to work. Our impact has been wide, deep and astonishingly varied. Once again, our thanks go to the teams who prepared our submissions, and above all to the myriad staff and students who are so critical to our success.’

Departmental results

Examples of some of the research impact case studies we submitted to REF2021, from MPLS departments, can be found on our Impact Case Studies page. Across the Division, 48 case studies were submitted.

You can find out more about the results from MPLS departments here.

Department of Biology

Department of Chemistry

Department of Computer Science

Department of Earth Sciences

Department of Engineering Science

Department of Materials

Department of Physics

Department of Statistics

Mathematical Institute

University announcement

Find out more about the University's full REF 2021 submission, with comment from Professor Louise Richardson and Professor Patrick Grant.


* Largest volume of world-leading research is calculated from the sum of (overall %4* x submitted FTE) across all submissions. Full results are available on the REF 2021 website.

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