Research excellence

The Research Excellence Framework (REF) 2021 results show improvements in every area of assessment for Imperial, which ranks top in the UK overall with a greater proportion of 4* "world-leading" research than any other UK university. The College also ranks first in the UK for research outputs, first in the UK for research environment, and first for research impact among Russell Group universities.

REF 2021 was the first submission for our Centre for Environmental Policy, which achieved 15th in the UK overall in the Geography and Environmental Studies Unit of Assessment along with colleagues from the Grantham Institute and Environmental Research Group. The trio also placed 2nd in the country for impact, with 88% of their impact being rated 4*.

Life Sciences and Physics successfully increased their overall 4* ratings, both scoring very high percentages of research considered world-leading or internationally excellent. Chemistry increased its overall ranking from 6th to 4th place, due in part to a significant increase in the percentage of research outputs rated as 4* and topping the national rankings for research environment. Maths increased its overall ranking to 3rd in the UK with significant increases in 4* rating of both outputs and impact, and also ranking first in the country for research environment.