6th in Scotland

45th in the UK

World-leading
research doubles

Principal's message

The results of the University’s performance in the 2014 Research Excellence Framework (REF) are outstanding, with Stirling enhancing its position as one of the top research-led universities in the UK. Stirling has moved up to 6th place in Scotland and 45th in the UK.

Comparing our 2008 profile with REF2014, the volume of research classified as world-leading has more than doubled. Our Impact performance demonstrates how Stirling researchers are making a major contribution to society, locally and globally. We know too from these results that, through our strategic plan, we have succeeded in creating a University environment which enables our academics to produce the highest-quality research.

We have excelled across a breadth of disciplines. Highlights include being ranked 4th in the UK for Agriculture, Veterinary and Food Science; 1st in Scotland (12th in the UK) for Health Sciences; and 3rd in Scotland (18th in the UK) for Psychology.

Our REF2014 performance can be attributed to the huge amount of effort and commitment from staff across all Schools and Directorates. In celebrating these excellent results, we can look with pride at what we have achieved and with a keen sense of momentum for the future.

Professor Gerry McCormac
Principal and Vice-Chancellor

Stirling successes

Stirling’s tremendous success in REF2014 has moved the University up to 6th place in Scotland and 45th in the UK.

Highlights include:

  • Almost three quarters of research activity rated either world-leading or internationally excellent
  • 4th in the UK for Agriculture, Veterinary and Food Science
  • 1st in Scotland and 12th in the UK for Health Sciences
  • 3rd in Scotland and 18th in the UK for Psychology
  • In the top 25 UK institutions for Business and Management
  • 17th in the UK for Social Work and Social Policy
  • 100% of Psychology Impact case studies classed as world-leading

Read the full story here

Impact case studies

Research at Stirling is making an impact across the world. Read our impact case studies.

What is REF?

The four UK higher education funding bodies allocate about £2 billion per year of research funding to UK universities, based on the quality and volume of each university’s research. They aim to support a dynamic and internationally competitive UK research sector that makes a major contribution to economic prosperity, national wellbeing and the expansion and dissemination of knowledge.

As well as informing funding allocations, the Research Excellence Framework (REF) provides accountability for public investment in research, demonstrates its benefits and provides important reputational yardsticks and benchmarking information about the research performance of UK universities. 

154 UK universities took part in REF2014, with special subject-area panels reviewing a total of 190,000 research submissions by 52,000 academic staff. Each subject area is awarded up to four stars. Universities have been assessed not only on the quality of their research output, but also on impact outside of academia and the vibrancy of their research environment.

Learn more about REF2014 here

© University of Stirling FK9 4LA Scotland UK • Telephone +44 1786 473171 • Scottish Charity No SC011159
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