Research Excellence Framework (REF) 2021

Our strengths are built on excellence in transformative research to support the social, economic and cultural wellbeing of our global society through interdisciplinarity, collaboration and impact.

As evidenced in the outcomes of REF 2021 we have focused our research on areas of demonstrable excellence and greatest benefit to society. REF 2021 recognises the world leading work of our researchers at the intersection of critical thinking, engagement and social action.

QMU’s vision is to be a leading and inclusive modern University, known for excellence in research and KE, this has been confirmed with the publication of results from REF 2021 in the following Units of Assessment (UoA) or subjects:

UoA 2 Public Health, Health Services, and Primary Care

UoA 2 Public Health, Health Services, and Primary Care

UoA 2 Public Health, Health Services, and Primary Care
Quality Level FTE of Submitted Staff 4* 3* 2* 1* Unclassified
% of research   activity 8.00 18 47 33 2 0

Impact Case Studies:

Shaping refugee integration policy and practice globally

Strengthening global and national policies on performance-based and innovative health financing in low-income and fragile settings

UoA 3 Allied Health Professions, Dentistry, Nursing and Pharmacy

UoA 3 Allied Health Professions, Dentistry, Nursing and Pharmacy

UoA 3 Allied Health Professions, Dentistry, Nursing and Pharmacy
Quality Level FTE of Submitted Staff 4* 3* 2* 1* Unclassified
% of research   activity 19.70 27 38 28 6 1


Impact Case Studies:

The new evidence-based RaceRunning (new name: Frame Running) classification system developed by QMU researchers leads to the acceptance of RaceRunning as a World Para Athletics event and is now a provisional event for the 2024 Paralympic games 

Using a theory of person-centeredness to transform nursing and healthcare cultures

UoA 4 Psychology, Psychiatry and Neuroscience

UoA 4 Psychology, Psychiatry and Neuroscience

UoA 4 Psychology, Psychiatry and Neuroscience
Quality Level FTE of Submitted Staff 4* 3* 2* 1* Unclassified
% of research   activity 13.80 18 12 54 14 2


Impact Case Studies:

Reducing dietary intake of free sugars

Reducing waiting times for Autism diagnosis in Scotland

UoA 17 Business and Management Studies

UoA 17 Business and Management Studies

UoA 17 Business and Management Studies
Quality Level FTE of Submitted Staff 4* 3* 2* 1* Unclassified
% of research   activity 5.40 0 30 56 14 0


Impact Case Studies:

Changing the culture and understanding of complaints handling, public services and ombudsman and consumer alternative dispute resolution (ADR) schemes in the UK

Families, Feuds and Fortunes: Linking research and practice to develop long-term family business governance in Scotland

UoA 21 Sociology

UoA 21 Sociology

UoA 21 Sociology
Quality Level FTE of Submitted Staff 4* 3* 2* 1* Unclassified
% of research   activity 8.63 5 11 49 29 6


Impact Case Studies:

Culture and action in solidarity with the Bhopal Survivors’ movement

Effective supportive services for European Students; transforming practice across 11 European countries

UoA 26 Modern Languages and Linguistics

UoA 26 Modern Languages and Linguistics

UoA 26 Modern Languages and Linguistics
Quality Level FTE of Submitted Staff 4* 3* 2* 1* Unclassified
% of research   activity 6.60 29 39 30 2 0


Impact Case Studies:

Children with persistent speech disorders benefit from our basic and clinically applied research into the articulation of speech

Phonetic voice quality analysis enhances reliability of forensic voice analysis, enables commercial voice characterisation and improves vocal health

UoA 34 Communication, Cultural and Media Studies, Library and Information Management

UoA 34 Communication, Cultural and Media Studies, Library and Information Management

UoA 34 Communication, Cultural and Media Studies, Library and Information Management
Quality Level FTE of Submitted Staff 4* 3* 2* 1* Unclassified
% of research   activity 14.67 22 44 32 2 0


Impact Case Studies:

“The Best It Can Be”: Redefining and enhancing quality in participatory arts

Critical dialogue in action: changing harmful cultural practices for young people in Scotland and Malawi

REF 2021 Scoring Explained

 4* Quality that is world-leading in terms of originality, significance and rigour 

 3* Quality that is internationally excellent in terms of originality, significance and rigour but which falls short of the highest standards of excellence 

 2* Quality that is recognised internationally in terms of originality, significance and rigour 

 1* Quality that is recognised nationally in terms of originality, significance and rigour 

 Unclassified Quality that falls below the standard of nationally recognised work. Or work which does not meet the published definition of research for the purposes of this assessment 

The three sub-profiles will then be combined into an overall quality profile using the following weightings:

 Outputs  Impact  Environment
 60%  25%  15%

The overall quality profile awarded to each submission is the primary outcome of REF 2021.

Excellent Research from Excellent People

"We value diversity in our thinking and culture to drive excellence and ensure equality of opportunity in the development and capacity of all our researchers and their contributions."

QMU is grateful for the collective endeavours of all contributors to its submission to REF 2021.

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