Significant increase in research funding announced for Keele

Posted on 27 March 2015

Keele’s strong performance in the UK-wide Research Excellence Framework (REF) was further confirmed today with the announcement today of the first research funding allocations based on the results of the 2014 REF by the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE).  Keele’s mainstream quality-related (QR) research funding allocation will increase by 18% from its previous allocation, which was based on the results of the 2008 Research Assessment Exercise (RAE), representing the third largest increase amongst traditional research-intensive universities.

Professor Mark Ormerod, Keele University Pro Vice-Chancellor for Research and Enterprise said: "this significant increase in our research funding allocation from a fixed total funding pot is fantastic news, and really highlights how well we did in the REF, significantly improving our performance compared to in the 2008 Research Assessment Exercise, with some outstanding performances in some areas.  Achieving the level of improved performance we did whilst submitting the same proportion of staff as in the last RAE is particularly impressive, and has resulted in this significant increase in our research funding.  Our research funding allocation for each of the next six years will be based on the results of the REF, so this substantial increase in research funding will provide a strong financial basis, together with our very significant growth in research grant income and research student numbers in recent years, to support our ambitions to continue to grow and enhance our world-leading research across the university over the next five years”.    

Most research-intensive institutions made more selective submissions to the REF than they did in the last RAE, some considerably more selective, and many have seen substantial reductions in their research funding allocation as a result.    

The REF assesses the quality of research in all higher education institutions in the UK.  The results represent a major improvement in Keele's performance from the last research assessment exercise in 2008.  Then, 11% of submitted research achieved the top grade.  Now, some 21% is judged to be 4* or 'world leading' - the highest available category score, and 71% judged to be in the top two categories compared to 46% in 2008.  The University saw improved performance in all 17 disciplines it made a submission to.  The results confirmed that Keele has world class research departments in all of its three Faculties: Health, Humanities and Social Sciences and Natural Sciences.

Subject areas where research at Keele has been rated world class are Allied Health Professions, Primary Care, General Engineering, History, Music, English, Politics, Law, Biological Sciences, Earth Systems and Environmental Sciences, Physics, Maths, Psychology, Social Work and Social Policy, Philosophy, Business and Management and Computer Science.